world series obstruction craig middlebrooksControversial call to conclude a World Series game involving the Cardinals? You better believe the Cardinals were on the benefitting end. Voodoo magic, and the Cards are now up 2-1 in the series.

  • The play, which you can watch here (and grainy, Bigfoot shot to the right), saw the Cardinals with men on second and third and one out in the bottom of the 9th, tied 4-4. A grounder to second results in a runner thrown out at the plate. The catcher throws to third to try and nail the guy advancing from second. That throw gets away from the third baseman, who goes to the ground in the attempt to make the catch. The runner, now trying to score from third, trips over the third baseman. The runner’s progress is impeded slightly, and he’s then thrown out at home to end the game. But obstruction is called, and the runner, Allen Craig, is awarded home. Game over. Walk-off voodoo win.
  • Was it the right call? My reading of the official rule, and the comment thereto, says it was: “OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered ‘in the act of fielding a ball.’ It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues.” That is, essentially, what happened. It’s bad luck for the Red Sox, as I don’t think Will Middlebrooks was *trying* to obstruct, and I don’t think he really had any chance to get out of the way.
  • Kris Bryant did the AFL a favor and took the day off yesterday, leaving Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, Wes Darvill, and Lendy Castillo there for the Mesa Solar Sox to pick up the slack. They did not, and it was a 6-1 loss. Almora went 0-4 with a K, Soler went 1-4 with a double, Darvill went 1-3 with a double (those two doubles were the only extra base hits for the Solar Sox, as the pitching on the other side was dominating), and Castillo threw a scoreless inning (1 BB, 1 K).
  • CSN Chicago looks at the state of “closer” in the Cubs’ organization, and aptly notes that it’s not like the Cubs – from a philosophical standpoint – feel like they have to go out and get a “proven” closer. A veteran reliever or two that may have been a closer in a previous life? Sure. There can be value there.
  • Brian Peters

    Yeah, yeah Cardinals won. Blah blah blah. Come on Cubs…DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ETS

      Not sure what you want them to do. Hire a manager? I think it’s pretty clear they are waiting to interview Lovullo (sp?).

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m sure they are doing many things right now but doubt they’ve made any decisions but even if they have they can’t announce anything because of the World Series. Relax buddy (I think this is a bit your running with right now) remember Sveum wasn’t announced until mid November and free agency is not open. So not much they can do.

  • Cedlandrum

    I said this in the last post and I will say it here. Is it the right call? Yes probably, but that doesn’t make it a good call. It is like the tuck rule in football that ultimately cost the Raiders the AFC championship game a few years ago. It is just a badly conceived rule that is open to too much interpretation. Clearly a runner can make his own basepath, but for crying out loud Craig is 3 feet inside the bag between 3rd and 2nd. That is not a path that anyone would choose. They should have let the play go and let them decide the outcome instead of ending the game on a terrible call. No losing team could ever swallow that loss because it just doesn’t make sense.

    • Frank

      With all the blown calls this season, does it really surprise anyone? Don’t forget the hand in the back in his attempt to get up and over him.

    • Ivy Walls

      Bull$#!^ You ever really play? You cannot obstruct a runner, the runner has the right of the base path otherwise a runner can’t be out running out of the base paths avoiding a tag.

      Boston 3B was very disguised (and competitive) lifting his legs a second time to obstruct and trip Craig…he forced the call and Joyce made it.

      Too bad, so sad.

      • MichiganGoat

        It’s the leg lifting that really sealed the obstruction call

        • Jimmy James

          Agree, it was the right call…if he had not lifted his legs it probably wasn’t called (runner scores too though)

          • MichiganGoat

            The more I watch it the more I think Craig might have intentionally tried to go over Middlebrooks… cause Cardinal Way!

      • Frank

        Bull$#!^ really? Why didn’t you add ..Oh my god, holy shit, you should be shot for your fucking opinion. By the way, the base runner was 3 feet towards 2nd base. I don’t think that’s the base path. And yes, I did play, but I never memorized the rule book like you did.

        • MichiganGoat

          Love how you censored the first BS then spelled out the next few obscenities… the voodoo magic gets under our skin sometimes.

          • MichiganGoat

            Oh now I resize you are quoting walls with the censored BS… see voodoo magic impacts us all.

            • MichiganGoat

              Damn resize should be realize… DAMN YOU VOODOO!

              • Leopold

                This guy.

          • Frank

            The Bull$#!^ was what he wrote.

      • D.G.Lang

        Actually if one carefully views the video at the start of the play when the fielder STARTS to dive for the ball the runner collides with the fielder helping to knock him down and interfering wait the fielder having any chance of getting to the ball.

        Looking very carefully it appears that while the runner slid into third base the runner actually knocked down the fielder who was standing on the base and hadn’t yet dived after the ball.

        I can’t tell if the ball would not have been reachable without any interference but by the runner hitting the fielders legs knocking the fielder down there is definitely interference by the runner against the fielder. There may be no rule describing runner interference and no one (certainly the Cardinals) will proclaim it but it did happen.

        There was NO intentional interference and nothing that can be ruled against the runner but there definitely was interference by the runner.

        Unfortunately neither the third base umpire nor the home plate umpire actually saw that collision and therefore the play will never be reversed by higher officials.

        • D.G.Lang

          Upon a further frame by frame review, the ball WAS within easy reach of the fielder and actually looks like it would have been caught by the fielder but right at that moment was when their legs collided knocking the fielder away from the ball.

          Note that the fielders left leg touched down just inside the foul line kicking up some dust from the foul line. The fielder was not diving away from the bag to go any large distance after the ball but was going down to reach it because it was within reaching distance without any lengthy dive.

          A careful analysis reveals the ball was going directly towards the fielders glove while he was still standing on the base. The ball if not caught would have gone under the runners body while the runner was making contact with the base.

          • D.G.Lang

            Upon Further further review, the ball was going directly into the fielders glove and the initial collision appears that the runners arm and shoulder which were reaching down toward the ground knocked the fielders glove at the exact arrival of the ball which knocked the ball down towards the ground.

            The fielder did not “miss” the ball, it was knocked out of his glove as evidenced by the alteration of the flight of the ball.

          • MichiganGoat

            Good breakdown and this should help future catchers that making that throw is just not a great idea. If Salty just held the ball then there would be another AB to determine the outcome.

          • Boogens

            Hi DG,

            Just as a point of clarification… baseball isn’t like football where both the receiver and defender have equal rights to the ball once it’s in the air. In baseball the runner is intended to have unfettered rights to the base and basepaths (with the proviso of a dirct play being made on him). Once the ball went beyond the 3rd baseman the runner is afforded full rights to try to score without interference by a fielder.

            • D.G.Lang

              I never said that the defender was or is granted equal rights after all, rules are rules and all should be required to follow them equally.

              Unfortunately some things do happen that there are no rules even though there should be. Football does at least recognize that there are situations where there is offensive interference and that sometimes contact is “incidental” and not intentional and should not be called as interference.

              The fielder would not have been down on the ground and most likely have missed the ball since a frame by frame review shows it going into the fielders glove before the glove was bumped by the fielder. The ball didn’t go cleanly into the outfield continuing on it’s initial flight direction on the throw, it WAS deflected downwards after hitting the glove when the glove was hit by the defender.

              Basketball football allow the ball to be batted away from the intended receiver but I believe that there are one or more rules in baseball against the runner interfering with the defender (receiver) and that would include deliberately knocking the ball down or away before it reaches the defender.

              If it was clearly visible to the umpires such a call would most likely have been made but since neither the outfield nor the home plate umpire were in position to see the initial contact and understand exactly what was happening they couldn’t realistically be expected to see exactly what happened and how it happened because it happened so quickly and can only be recognized by a very careful frame by frame review.

              IF baseball had an instant review of all controversial plays AND someone from the Red Sox would have recognized what happened AND appealed the possible interference by the runner then nothing will happen to correct the situation in this game.

              If there was no interference called against the fielder, the runner WAS out at the plate and the game would continue. Unfortunately again it is much easier just to say “it’s done and over with” than to get the play correct after careful review.

              Under the rules, the defender does have the right to go after the ball and even though it was inadvertent he was interfered with by the runner. I can’t say with any certainty if the fielder then deliberately interfered with the runner by “raising” his legs in an effort to slow the runner down or if it was “inadvertent” and should be overlooked just like the runners inadvertent interference was overlooked.

              Just in the interest of fairness the rules should be the same and enforced the same but sometimes the umpires simply don’t see everything because of their viewing angle and they don’t know until after the game exactly what happened and then it is too late.

              I don’t believe that there should be such a wide right of appeal that a team can review a play and appeal on something that the umpires miss because that would open up a new and very large can of worms in an effort to improperly influence the game results.

              The bottom line again is that “what’s done is done” and we continue on like always to the next game regardless of what we may consider to be just or unjust.

              • D.G.Lang

                I was able to locate another view but NOT able to download and analyze it on a frame by frame view. Nevertheless it is a much clearer side view which clearly shows the distance from the runner to the fielder and the runner already falling after rising up from his slide and starting to go toward home plate.

                On this view from the first base side, the runner did not fall by making contact with the fielder but was a step away and was already falling before he even reached the fielder. That is why he put his hand on the fielders back.

                Remembering that the runner had a bad ankle or foot would explain why he was already stumbling after quickly getting up after sliding into first base. There was a lot of pressure on his foot whether or not it was his bad foot/ankle and it isn’t unreasonable to understand why anyone would stumble under those circumstances.

                Someone may say that the fielder interfered with the runner even though he wasn’t up against the runner and that merely the presence of the fielder close by was enough to cause that particular runner to stumble.

                However, the runner was already off balance from the slide and rising quickly afterwards and it wasn’t any physical contact with the fielder which caused him to stumble.

                I have already said too much on this topic and won’t respond again unless someone asks me a specific question.

                Thanks all, Dan

                • Pat

                  You’re wrong about how the rule works. No reply necessary.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I thought Middlebrook was definitely trying to obstructed. I could see the legs going up the first time due to momentum with his dive, but then he brought both legs up again for no good reason other than to provided a barrier. Damn Cardinals.

    • DarthHater

      Agreed. Middlebrooks raised his legs up to trip Craig long after the ball was past him. Having criticized Matheny for stupidly complaining about an obviously correct call in game 1, I’m not going to do the same now.

    • Frank

      Take another look at the play. When he tried to get up, the runner put his hand in his back and the legs went up. It might have been a reaction, I’m just guessing.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Yeah, but the 3rd baseman put up a “toll booth” that and the runner didn’t have the $.80 to go through, so what do you expect.

        But really, the legs flew up intentionally…I don’t see how anyone could see this otherwise.

        • EuroCub

          The easiest way to judge whether Middlebrooks did it intentionally is to lay on your belly and try to get up and see if when getting up you raise your legs like he just did.

          No you do not. It’s unnatural and certainly won’t speed up the process. Tough call to make, but in my opinion it was right thing to do. Even if obviously no one wants to see games finish like that.

        • cubmig

          Eternal……Ah…wait….Let me get “this” out there first: The deadbirds and their ilk are shit. There.

          Now—- I saw the play differently and thought (and still think) the judgement (which is what the application of the rule hangs on) was wrong. So chalk me up as one who differs with you.

          On another point. If one checks out the ball and strike calls as well in this game, the umpiring should be brought before a tribunal for disciplinary action, warnings or castigation. (which makes me wonder if umps ever get called on the carpet!!!)

      • D.G.Lang

        The fielders left leg was already mostly up after hitting the ground and only went up a little further as the fielder was attempting to pickup himself up from the ground. The point of contact was not with the fielders legs but with the fielders abdomen.

        If someone was attempting to do a “pushup” they would lock their legs straight behind themselves and then lift push themselves up with a straight back.

        Someone trying to get up off the ground would NOT put their legs straight back and would NOT put their toes down on the ground as in a pushup. They instead would raise their legs slightly to allow then to put their knees on the ground first and then rise further from that.

        While looking at a frame by frame replay with the ability to stop on each frame (every 1/30th of a second since there are 30 frames per second) the fielders legs were already back on the ground when the runner hit the fielders midsection.

        The runner was already off balance and had put his hand on the fielders back before any contact was made because he was already falling down. The fielders legs in NO way interfered with the runner.

        I believe the fielder was simply trying to get up which he had every right to do and was not trying to interfere with the runner.

        Please note that while I went out looking on the internet for as many views as I could find I didn’t see one from a different angle that I could download and do a frame by frame analysis. It is possibly and maybe even likely that a frame by frame analysis from a different angle might lead me to a different conclusion.

  • macpete22

    I think it was the wrong call. Yes, obstruction was the right call but if it was type A obstruction then Craig is called safe at 3rd. If it was type B, Craig runs on his own peril and was out at home.

    • roz

      Nope. Read the rule. It’s up to the umpire to give the runner the base he thinks the runner would have reached safely had it not been for the obstruction. Given that there was obstruction and the ball didn’t beat Craig to home that much, it was a good call.

  • Ian Afterbirth

    I don’t see how it could have been called any other way……

  • ScottPilgrim

    Hope the Red Sox have learned to stop using that home-to-third throw. Its now burned them multiple times.

  • justinjabs

    Brett, thanks for using that particular image of Joyce – there was one floating around last night of him looking the other way and was fodder for death threats/calls for firing because of one single image…when there are other single images (like that one) of him looking at it.

  • al spangler

    Middlebrooks lifted his feet to trip him. Good try but better call.

  • Badcll

    Cedlandrum I agree with you it’s one thing to obstruct in the base line but 2-3 feet towards 2nd base. You can clearly see the base line was unobstructed and should not have been called.

  • Clark Addison

    Let’s just get this whole thing over with so we can interview Lovullo.

  • 5412

    Hi Brett,

    I learned something on this once in a lifetime experience. When I saw the umpire signal obstruction, I thought the runner was awarded home plate. This, courtesy of Fox Sports taught me somthing.

    “At that moment, two men in uniform did precisely the right thing:

    Jim Joyce, the umpire at third base, signaled obstruction.

    Craig got up and ran home – on the sprained left foot that until recently had kept him out of game action for 48 days.

    Craig didn’t beat the throw of left fielder Daniel Nava, who was (somewhat understandably) late backing up the bizarre play. But Craig made the play close. That was the key.

    See, the mere fact that Joyce signaled obstruction didn’t entitle Craig to being called safe at home. Craig had to arrive at the plate fast enough for Dana DeMuth, the home plate umpire, to conclude that Craig would have been able to score if the obstruction hadn’t occurred.

    And that’s what happened: Craig was out by a few feet. DeMuth, after seeing the signal from Joyce, called Craig safe. That’s how the rule works. The umpires enforced it impeccably.”.

    So far in all the years I have watched baseball, this is a once in a lifetime experience and I learned something along the way. This series will be forever remembered by that play..


    • RIch

      forever be remembered?

      I seriously doubt that..

      • cubmig

        “This series will be forever remembered by that play..”

        ????…….how can it be? This IS already indicted as a CRS (Can’t Remember Shit) WS for posterity.

    • Boogens

      Thanks, 5412. You taught me sometghing, too.

  • Brains

    I’m not convinced he did it on purpose, but it was the right call.

  • OCCubFan

    Perhaps the call was technically correct, but it has not been called in many, many cases in the past. A year or so ago, a Cub player was trying to advance to second. The throw went into center field. The SS in trying to catch the ball ended up on top of the Cub player, who in turn was lying on 2nd base. The Cub player tried to get up and advance to 3rd, but the opposing player just passively laid there on top of him, preventing him from moving. Result: no call.

    Question for all: do the Cubs and/or Cardinals get their fair share of questionable calls? Does the “lovable losers” tag cost the Cubs calls in key situations?

    • baldtaxguy

      Yes. If the umpire believes the team will not be a playoff team, they will not call the obstruction. That’s a Type “SUX” obstruction.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Two problems with the call. Craig has a clear path toward home plate. He instead veers to his left, puts his hands on Middlebrooks back and pushes him down(this is when Joyce is looking out into left field and does not see this). After creating this contact, he then trips over the waist of Middlebrooks(not his legs). This is when the ump had looked back and this is what he sees.
    If he had watched the whole play, he never would have made the call. Now of course they have to cover their ass.
    And what is wrong with MLB, how moronic to run Joe Torre out there in a press conference with the umps. Yeah, that will really calm down the Red Sox nation. Former Cardinal player and manager, and former manager of the hated Yankees. Certainly no bias there? Brilliant.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Doesn’t matter what the runner touched, Middlebrooks created a barrier (intentional) that the runner had to work to avoid. It doesn’t require contact for it to be obstruction.

      • ETS

        I think if middlebrooks doesn’t kick up his legs then this probably doesn’t get called, but why did salty throw it in the first place? Why did ferrel leave workman in to bat only to pull him after one out?

        So many questions. The red sox kinda of imploded. Hopefully they rebound.

    • baldtaxguy

      “If he had watched the whole play, he never would have made the call.”

      The home plate ump saw the whole play and the push would have been a factor if material, but it wasn’t.

    • roz

      1) Bull. Craig has every right to run wherever he wants as long as he’s not attempting to avoid a tag. He establishes his base path when he starts moving. The chalk line is not the base path, it is simply the foul line. And Joyce was looking at the play, stop kidding yourself. Also, Middlebrooks was laying right where Craig tried to run. It doesn’t matter if Craig created any sort of contact, he has a right to establish his base path and run in that base path without a fielder getting in his way, assuming that fielder is no longer attempting to field a ball (which Middlebrooks was not).

      2) I don’t know about you, but I found the press conference very helpful. I doubt Bud Selig cares enough about the feelings of Red Sox fans to worry about whether or not Torre should have been there.

  • ETS

    Tyler Cravy’s AFL thus far is impressive (through 9 innings). I know nothing of the Brewers prospect.

  • Brains

    if only the cubs could be in such a position that they would be screwed by an ump call in game 3 of the world series. seems like a complete impossibility in any forthcoming scenario. we can’t even name one team leader thanks to the “plan” to gut the team. but i guess we’ll have that jumbotron in rosemont. that’s what we really wanted anyway, right?

    • ETS


      • Brains

        thank you, thank you.

  • udbrky

    I umpired baseball for 10 years and when I saw the play last night, I said immediately to my roommate “that’s obstruction, looked he called it”. That was a textbook case of obstruction.

    I just re-watched it.

    1) The runner did not push him down or veer to the left. He was on the left side of the base when he got up and took a straight path to the plate. Middlebrooks was in front of him, he only touched him in a way to get up and go, not to push him down.

    2) Middlebrooks lifted his legs a second time. I think if he didn’t, he might not get called for it as it would be incidental contact, much like if the first baseman was going after a loose ball and bumped into the runner after an errant throw.

    3) Intent is not a condition for obstruction.

    4) Joyce probably made a mistake in watching the ball. You only have OF umpires for the playoffs, normally, he’d be responsible to also see that ball to see if there is interference. Also, you do need to pick up the ball so that you get out of the way. 4 times in my life, I took my off a baseball while playing or umpiring, and I got hit in the head. Never take your eye off the ball.

    • Dustin S

      Your point #2 was the key for me when I watched the replay. When he lifted his legs, that was definitely an intentional attempt to slow the runner down and made obstruction an easy call. I’m surprised people are even talking about it possibly not being obstruction.

      I don’t want to see the Cards win, but that was the correct call for sure.

  • ColoCubFan

    After watching last night’s game, and looking at his stats, I hope the Cub’s front office doesn’t chase Saltalamacchia this off-season. I think they have bigger holes to fill than to look for catching help as has been rumored.

    • The Dude

      ^^^^This. Our farm system produces enough players that swing out of their shoes and make poor decisions in the field. Don’t think we need to pursue any through free agency.

      • Noah_I

        Salty would be fine as a backup catcher if the pay is commensurate with that. But I don’t think Salty would be looking for a 30-40 start a year job (and the Cubs should be looking for Castillo to start 120-130 games next year, if healthy), considering he put up pretty good numbers in 2013 and is a pretty good defensive catcher, in spite of the less than well advised throw yesterday. Unfortunately, the Cubs don’t even have anyone capable of being a backup catcher in their system right now.

        I’d be interested in John Buck or Humberto Quintero in that role. Neither will hit anywhere near as well as Navarro did, but they’re both solid defensive catchers, which is more important to me for a true backup.

        • YourResidentJag

          Or Bryan Pena, since he like Salty, bats switch.

  • paul

    Cards have a better Manager will win again so sad the umps suck baseball needs replay.

  • 5412


    Why did I say forever be remembered? That is a once in a lifetime call. Those are the kind of things real baseball fans just never seem to forget.

    I can still close my eyes and see Pete Rose colliding with Ray Fosse. I could go on and on, it just seems there are snapshots of events we never forger if we are real fans.

    We may forget great plays, but something out of the ordinary or controversial seems to stick with us.


  • Spriggs

    I sure am glad that I haven’t seen a pitch yet of another WS from hell. Sounds like I avoided a lot of sheer agony the last few nights. Watched a beautiful, stress free recording of Notre Dame pounding Air Force instead.

    • baldtaxguy

      That couldn’t have sounded more boring. To each his own.

      • Spriggs

        I enjoyed the game I watched. It was all stress, agony, cursing, and hate free. I slept great last night too.

  • Vince

    It looked like he was already falling over before touching middlebrooks as he was getting up. It also looks like he trips over middlebrooks butt before he hits his legs but it was the right call.

  • Curt

    Last night only feeds cardinal fans sense of entitlement god and the emperor selig must want the best fans in baseball to win (pukes) can’t believe the umpires didn’t let the game be decided on the field not by a judgement call.

    • MichiganGoat

      Can you imagine the Cardinal tears if the umps just let that play out and they end up losing? Man that would have been fun.

    • roz

      It was decided on the field. Middlebrooks obstructed Craig and the umps called it. You sound like a bitter Red Sox player. If the umps should make calls during the regular season, they should make the calls during the World Series as well.

  • Cubbie Blue

    If you watch Middlebrooks, he puts his legs and feet up in the air just before craig gets to him. I think it was just instinct to do that but he clearly tripped him up. It was the right call and was made split second by the 3rd base ump. Who needs replay…

  • Ramy16

    Any way you slice it’s a shitty call..especially in the world series

    • baldtaxguy

      Obstruction can happen in all baseball games, including World Series games.

      • TOOT

        Right. There WAS interference on the the play which makes it obstruction. Middlebrooks puts his legs up on purpose. It was no accident.

  • FastBall

    Umps got it right. just like they got it right in the 1st inning of the 1st game on the double play ball that wasn’t. These guys are human and they do a damned good job for the most part. Part of the game is the umps getting it right but it’s not always possible at game speed with only a single view. Part of the game. If we go to far with instant replay it will end up that we have no umps at all. A computer and hi tech video will allow a video ump to call balls and strikes and interpret every play in the field. Games will change so much they won’t even be determined by a human element. Sports need umps and ref’s who I never liked very much but they serve a their purpose.

    • TOOT

      Let’s not overreach. There will always be umps. Just like with jobs in general, automation has it’s limits.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    There were a few bizarre managerial decisions in last night’s game.

    Farrell letting Workman hit in the 8th was weird. Sox lose the game and one of their best hitters (Napoli) never stands in the box. Farrell blew the 8th inning double switch, which also would have gotten his better defensive catcher in the game, and he wouldn’t have made that ridiculous throw to third.

    Why did the Sox even pitch to Jay? Walk him, and bring up Kozma with the bases loaded. It would put the force in place, and Kozma had a terrible at-bat earlier with a guy on third and none out. Seemed like a no-brainer.

    Why was Allan Craig still in the game after he doubled? They could have put Wainwright or Wacha in to pinch run for him. Play at the plate wouldn’t have even been close with a non-hobbled runner.

    Just my 2 cents…

  • Teigh Cubs Teigh

    I personally think that it was probably the right call but I do not see any malicious intent on either side of the play. I think Craig’s “pushing down” of Middlebrooks was accidental. It looks to me like he was starting to stumble and just happened to fall on top of the defender.

    After that I believe the leg lift by Middlebrooks was simply an attempt to get his legs out of the way. I don’t think he realized where is legs were and was trying to AVOID obstructing the play. Clearly that didn’t work, but I don’t think that it was an intentional move on his part. Of course intent isn’t necessary (by my understanding of the rule…which I admit involves reading about it literally three minutes ago). It sucks that the game ended that way – especially since it lead to a Cardinals win – but baseball is a funny game sometimes.

  • Brett

    I probably should have mentioned the leg lift in the post, but, in my mind, it doesn’t matter whether he did it intentionally or not – it’s still obstruction, by the rule.

    • The Logos

      Olney tweeted he didn’t think it was possible for Middlebrooks to think that fast. I disagree … I actually think he really did do it on purpose.

      I also think that is relevant because if the subjectivity at the end of the rule. If you read the full comments about this scenario it says he “very likely obstructed”, basically putting it back on the umpire’s discretion.

      And, if there is discretion to be applied, then part of that should be making an attempt to determine intent as well, in my opinion.

    • MichiganGoat

      Agreed but the leg lift really made any appeal or arguement impossible to be valid.

    • fresno cub fan

      Middlebrooks knew that was the winning run. As the throw got past him, don’t you think he wanted to impede the runner at least slightly? Not completely, but enough to hopefully not get called for obstruction. I think it probably was intentional. Think about it. If you are trying to get out of the way, then you would roll over to your right and away from the play. Wouldn’t you? Not lift your legs.

    • TOOT

      Yes. Cards won fair and square. Like you say, VooDoo shit!

    • BD

      I agree, I think they called the rule correctly based on what they saw.

      What they saw, though… was some voodoo embellishment. I think Craig sold falling over Middlebrooks really well. Almost looked like LeBron James with that flop.

  • N.J. Riv.

    Cardinals won so it was a bad call.

    • cubs2003

      I hate the Cardinals, but that was pretty clear obstruction. He would have been safe otherwise. Goddamn Cardinals.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      “After that I believe the leg lift by Middlebrooks was simply an attempt to get his legs out of the way.”

      I doubt he was trying to get them out of the way by moving his legs from the ground to the airspace in front of the runner.

      A lot of people giving him the benefit of the doubt here (which apparently doesn’t matter since the rule doesn’t require intent), but I would say the only way this was unintentional was if he was having a partial seizure which quickly resolved.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Oops, that was a response to Teigh, but the system wanted to put it somewhere else for some reason.

        BTW Riv, you gave the only acceptable reason for disagreeing with the ump. We need Leslie Neilson out there tripping the Cardinals players to keep the game from ending!