If you’ve seen enough games at Wrigley Field, you’ll know that balls get stuck in the outfield ivy from time-to-time, and if one gets stuck for long enough, the ump will call it a ground-rule double.
But the funny thing about the ivy-rule-double is that players on the away team seem to have a tougher time understanding when they should put their hands up and call for the umpire’s intervention and when they should just go for the ball and finish the play.
In other words, sometimes, you’ll even see the ball bounce into the ivy for a split-second – just enough time for the players hands to go in the air – before it immediately trickles out. If you catch the ump on a good day, he might just give you the call, but if he lost his keys/stubbed his toe/spilled his coffee/etc. that morning, you might just be in trouble as that runner heads for third.
Point being, the bar for when an ump will actually call a ground-rule double and when they expect you to play through it is fairly high at Wrigley, because it has to be – balls bounce off the wall all the time.
At the Red Sox Spring Training Stadium in Lee County, Florida, however, the bar is … decidedly lower.
Watch as new Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez smacks a liner into the left field corner, scoring Hanley Ramirez all the way from first base, before the ump inexplicably calls Ramirez back to third because of the weakest “ground-rule double” call I’ve ever seen:
Ramirez eventually scored on a sac fly from Xander Bogaerts and Martinez got in ona Rafael Devers single, but still … what a terrible call. The ball was immediately available and the outfielder played it without thinking.
It was just a very weird decision all the way around.