Astros Accuse White Sox Of Interference

Damon Parks - 12 Oct 2021

Controversy reigned as tempers flared red-hot during Saturday’s AL Division Series Game 3 between the White Sox and the Houston Astros.

With nobody present in the fourth inning, Chicago catcher Yasmani Grandal during a slow-roll to first base got hit on his left arm by a home-bound throw by Yuli Gurriel. This ultimately caused the ball to cruise past catcher Martin Maldonado and result in a run that would help the White Sox to a two-point lead and eventually, a 12-6 win at Guaranteed Rate Field.

 Everything but satisfied with how things had played out, Astros manager Dusty Baker then went on to promptly accuse Grandal of having ran on the inside section of the lane on purpose – all in order to get struck by the ball for a few points on the scoreboard.

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No Rule For Directing Traffic

The problem with Baker’s contention, however, as explained by home-plate umpire Tom Hallion, is that there isn’t currently a 45-foot rule for establishing a specific running lane. Hallion said since the throw was from first to home, and not the other way around, it still qualified as a throwing error on the part of Gurriel, and no wrongdoing from Grandal.

The ruling followed after all six umpires had deliberated the decision near first base.

According to Hallion, the decision had been made as such because of the ball having been directed towards the infield before swerving back to the plate. He said as such, the 45-foot lane never really came into consideration in the first place.

Grandal did nothing at all to get struck by the ball, which is why a call of “no interference” was eventually made, said the crew chief.

Baker Insistent on Interference

Still – Baker was everything but appeased by the ruling. Even after the intense deliberation, he said he still felt as if Grandal had intentionally ran too far inside the line of the path.

Baker said what convinced him even more of intentional interference had been that Grandal, being a catcher, would have known precisely what he was doing. What Grandal had done was nothing short of “smart play”, he lamented.

But according to Grandal, he wasn’t even aware that he’d been running all that far inside the line. He said he wouldn’t have believed it had it not been for the benefit of hindsight on Replay. He explained that instead of trying to get hit by the ball, he was merely trying to get to first base.

He added that he even tried to get out the way when he eventually saw the ball coming right at him.

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