GIF: Ryan Flaherty Makes A Catch At Second, Drops Ball On The Exchange, All Hell Breaks Loose
Why did Major League Baseball add expanded instant replay? I thought it was to make the game more accurate, to overturn blatantly incorrect calls.
Along the way, baseball complicated some of the game’s most basic elements. Like say for example, the catch. What is a catch? Is it when the ball enters the leather of the glove? Or when the fielder has secured it in glove’s webbing? Well, here’s how it’s defined in rule book:
A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.
On Sunday night, Grady Sizemore came to bat with a runner on second and one out. Sizemore hit a ground ball to the pitcher, Zach Britton, who tossed to Ryan Flaherty at second. Flash caught the ball and tagged the base, then while attempting to throw out Sizemore at first he dropped the ball.
Since the ball wasn’t secure in the possession of has hand, the umpire correctly called the runner safe — correctly, according to the rules. But how is this not a catch?
The Red Sox would go on to score two runs in the seventh the tie the game at five. And, well, you know how it ended.