May 10, 2014

Papi's Pop-Up: Was It An Error Or A Hit?

There are plenty of articles about the "error" that was charged on David Ortiz's seventh-inning pop-up that fell in short right field:

Travis L. Brown (ESPNBoston) asks: "Did Ortiz break up Yu's no-hit bid twice?"

Gordon Edes (ESPNBoston) believes: "It should have been scored a hit."

Official scorer Steve Weller is facing scrutiny.

Alex Speier (WEEI) has extensive quotes from Weller.

Both Michael Silverman (Herald) and Brian MacPherson (Journal) have reactions from Ortiz, A.J. Pierzynski, and John Farrell.

Eric Stephen (SB Nation) writes that according to a Comment on Rule 10.12(a)(1), the error call is correct: "The official scorer shall charge an outfielder with an error if such outfielder allows a fly ball to drop to the ground if, in the official scorer's judgment, an outfielder at that position making ordinary effort would have caught such fly ball."

However, the Comment also notes: "The official scorer shall not score mental mistakes or misjudgments as errors unless a specific rule prescribes otherwise." There is certainly plenty of grey area here, but, as both Farrell and Ortiz said, in 99 cases out of 100, that play is scored as a hit.

Weller claims that he saw right fielder Alex Rios move his arm as though he was calling off second baseman Rougned Odor. That action, coupled with the fact that the catch was not made, let Weller to give the error. But when you look at the replay, Rios makes absolutely no "calling off" motion. When his right arm goes out, I believe he is in the process of stopping his motion, unsure who was going to catch the ball.

Finally, Joe Posnanski on the insane concepts we take for granted.


Tom DePlonty said...

The Posnanski column is just fantastic. Thanks for linking it.

allan said...

I added that one after the post had been up awhile, so I'm glad you noticed it.

Michael said...

I'll admit I wasn't very familiar with the exact criteria, so this reminded me of the Drew infield popup that dropped between Wainwright and Molina in the World Series. I was absolutely convinced that had been ruled an error, when in fact it was a single. If that's a hit, there's NO WAY Papi's is anything less.

allan said...

Michael, video of that and other similar plays here.

allan said...

Ortiz says he is appealing the call.

Michael said...

Ha, love the second one - Kemp seems to realize at the last second that Manny is in LF