Saturday, July 7, 2007

Scorekeeper Error

'Twas a Friday night game at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis, after the Redbirds just intentionally walked Barry Bonds, to load the bases, when up to the plate stepped Benjito Molina.

On the first pitch he saw he rapped it deep into straight-away center field where fielder So Taguchi had to leap up and crash into the fence to keep the ball from making contact with the barrier. In doing so the ball made contact with Taguchi's glove and the bases-clearing smack was ruled an error.

The effort of Taguchi was overlooked. Instead what was seen was where the ball made initial contact and that happened to be the pocket of Taguchi's glove. Forgetting that he was airborne and making solid contact with the fence the at-bat was ruled an error.

Rule 10.5, Base hits, A base hit shall be scored in the following cases:

(a) when a batter reaches first base (or any succeeding base) safely on a fair ball which settles on the ground or touches a fence before being touched by a fielder, or which clears a fence.

NOTE: A hit shall be scored if the fielder attempting to handle the ball cannot make a play...

The rulebook goes on further to say...

10.05 (f) When a fielder unsuccessfully attempts to put out a preceding runner, and in the scorer's judgment the batter-runner would not have been put out at first base by ordinary effort.

NOTE: In applying the above rules, always give the batter the benefit of the doubt. A safe course to follow is to score a hit when exceptionally good fielding of a ball fails to result in a putout.

Here again, like with the umpires, is some person not gifted enough to be on the field performing judging how the play should have been made.

Yep, it's always easier to judge from a cushioned seat as you stuff your face with snacks and the libation(s) of choice moistens your parched throat.

kevin marquez