Friday, March 27, 2015

The Interference Rule

The umpires made the right ruling, eventually.

The Interference Rule

The play from Game 3 that everyone will talk about came in the ninth inning, Pedro Feliz hit a ground ball to third base with bases loaded and nobody out.

It was a dead double play ball. At second base, Shane Victorino barreled into Brewers second baseman Craig Counsell, who still managed to complete the double play as Ryan Howard scored from third. Jim Joyce, the second base umpire, immediately signaled interference and declared Feliz out. But seeing as how the play was completed anyway, everybody just went about their business -- until Brewers manager Dale Sveum, with an assist from coach Ed Sedar, came out of the dugout and pointed out  to the appointed arbiters that the rulebook says the run shouldn't score in that situation.

The umpires huddled and said, well, oops. Sveum was right. Howard had  to come back out of the dugout.

The rule in question, 7.09 (f), fished out of the rulebook by Daily News colleague Paul Hagen, reads like this:

"If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner."

Phils manager Charlie Manuel said, "I've seen times probably where they didn't call that but the the umpire is standing right there on it."

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Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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