What a great game!! Obviously a clutch homerun by Johnny Gomes the big offensive play.
But how about that 'walkoff pickoff' by Uehara? First time in the HISTORY of the world series a game has ended that way! LOL. Now let's win game 5 and take control of the series going back to Boston!!
PS on Obstruction. It is rule 2.0 that describes why the call was made. Intention of Middlebrooks during that play does not matter at all:
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 to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
Well that's in the books. Bring on Game 5!!
Originally Posted by Tunescribe
No, not like that! You push your upper body off the ground first and he was just lying there. He wasn't trying to get up. Assuming he knew where the ball was, you pretty much can't blame him for trying to impede the runner.
As explained above. Middlebrooks 'intention' does not matter at all. So your reason given of him 'intentionally' raising his legs is meaningless in reference to the call. The reason obstruction was called is that Middlebrooks was no longer 'in the act of fielding' and his position on the ground delayed the runner from making progress on the basepaths. This is a judgment call by the umpire and unfortunately the textbook comment labels it as 'likely obstruction'.
The only arguable controversy I see is that it was such a bang-bang play that Middlebrooks didn't really have time to get out of the way and the Cardinal's runner made no effort to avoid him while running towards home. Because the play happened so quickly, WMB basically needed to teleport his body out of the way even though he was prone on the ground to avoid that obstruction call. I think there needs to be some kind of refinement of instruction to cover situations like the above one.
Right now intentionality has no bearing with the call, but should there be a judgment of intentionality of obstruction especially on a call that can allow runs to score?? Also should the position of the fielder relative to the basepath matter? Because IF the cardinals runner had attempted to go around and hug the baseline, he would not have tangled up with or touched WMB and his progress would not have been impeded.