October 25, 2012

"Baseball's Timeless Tradition"

Worth four minutes of your time:  Stephen Brunt's "The World Series: Baseball's Timeless Tradition" video, broadcast as part of Sportsnet Canada's World Series coverage.


October 6, 2012

Neyer on *that* Infield Fly

As predicted, there has been a great deal of chatter on the application of the Infield Fly rule in the eight inning of last night's Cardinals-Braves NL Wild Card game.

The best thing I've read is Rob Neyer's analysis at SB Nation, "Everything you always wanted to know about the Infield Fly Rule*". Neyer covers the rule in general, its application in this particular case (he thinks it was an appropriate call, and one which realistically did not hurt the Braves), and sums up with the fact that the game turned not on this call, but the Braves' three errors and failure to score when, late in the game, they had runners in scoring position.


October 5, 2012

The origins of the Infield Fly Rule

I'm sure lots of ink will be spilled in the hours/days to come, but here's an interesting legal note: "The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule" (University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol.123:1474-1481, June 1975.)

The Infield Fly Rule is obviously not a core principle of baseball. Unlike the diamond itself or the concepts of "out" and "safe," the Infield Fly Rule is not necessary to the game. Without the Infield Fly Rule, baseball does not degenerate into bladderball the way the collective bargaining process degenerates into economic warfare when good faith is absent. It is a technical rule, a legislative response to actions that were previously permissible, though contrary to the spirit of the sport.
Here's a discussion of the article at Topography of Ignorance.

(Tip of the Mariners cap to ronb78 who pasted the link at Lookout Landing.)