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MLB Protest: League Doesn't Overturn Controversial Braves vs. Cardinals Call

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 05:  Manager Fredi Gonzalez #33 of the Atlanta Braves argues an infield fly ruling in the eighth inning with third base umpire Jeff Nelson while taking on the St. Louis Cardinals during the National League Wild Card playoff game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 6, 2012

Major League Baseball has officially negated the Atlanta Braves' protest following a controversial infield fly rule call on Friday in the National League wild-card game against the St. Louis Cardinals, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Heyman tweeted:

Torre said he disallowed protest because its a "judgment call"

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 6, 2012

 

In the bottom of the eighth inning in Friday's game, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons lofted a pop-up to shallow left field with one out and men on first and second. Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma allowed the ball to drop in what appeared to be a case of poor communication with left fielder Matt Holliday. It would have allowed the Braves to load the bases with one out.

Except it didn't.

The umpires ruled that it fell under the infield fly rule's parameters.

MLB's official rule states, via Bleacher Report:

MLB's official language on the infield fly rule: twitter.com/BleacherReport…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 6, 2012

While the umpires technically are within reason to call the rule under that circumstance, many people are debating it because it violates the very purpose of the rule: to protect the base runners. The rule is supposed to prevent an infielder from letting the ball fall on purpose in hopes of doubling up the runners.

So instead of loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday, the Braves were left with men on first and second with two outs. They failed to score that inning and eventually lost, 6-3, as the reigning champion Cardinals advanced to the divisional series.

You can bet we'll see a catchy name attached to this, like "The Infield Fly Rule Game" or something. After all, since when has the infield fly rule been this controversial in such dire circumstances—or this historic?

 

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