Home > Uncategorized > Dear, MLB Infielders: Intentionally Drop More Popups

Dear, MLB Infielders: Intentionally Drop More Popups

No, I don’t want every player to get their Luis Castillo on. But there is a time when I think it would be smart to act dumb. Or at least interesting.

A perfect situation for such action took place on opening day in Philadelphia.

The Houston Astros are up, 6-2, and three outs from a very impressive road win against the Phillies. The first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, single to bring Raul Ibanez to the plate. Ibanez sends a weak popup into the air that settles over the midpoint between first and second base. The infield fly rule is put into effect, Bill Hall catches the can of corn and a mundane at-bat ends.

But how about this? Drop the ball and see if you can catch somebody napping.

The infield fly rule calls the batter out as soon as it is signaled, so what’s the harm if the ball is dropped in the shallow end of the infield? Outside of the extremely rare possibility that the ball hits an ungroomed spot on the dirt and bounces an absurd distance away from any fielder, no runner is going to risk advancing. But they can advance at their own risk once the ball falls to the ground. Test their knowledge of the rules. Maybe someone will get spooked and believe there is a force in play, venture a few confused steps off the bag and wander himself right into an out.

The odds state this won’t work at all. It most likely wouldn’t have changed the Astros’ fate, but you never know for sure until you try it. You see something new during every baseball game. Yet, this is something I have never seen, and I’m not sure why teams don’t give it a shot when looking for a lucky break. The worst realistic scenario is that no one moves, you still have an out and many wonder why that guy just didn’t catch the ball in the first place. But that’s not to say such simple tactics can never succeed. I’ve certainly seen stranger in this sport.

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  1. Ruzzo
    April 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Apparently, Kevin Youkilis tried this yesterday. It went poorly. YOU AAAAHHH TRYING TO BRING DOWN RED SAWX NATION!!!

  2. April 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Well, I don’t think he intentionally dropped that ball. That was a hard line drive that came in and out of his outstretched glove. It would have worked just the same if Varitek understood the rules of a force play. The Red Sox would have gotten two outs instead of one and kept a run off the board.
    Howeva, you can’t assume it would have had any impact on Asdrubal Cabrera’s three-run HR following that wackiness or the result of the game. I bet Dom is loving this start. I’ve really got to meet up with him while I still have a chance to kick him (figuratively) while he’s down.

  3. Ruzzo
    April 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    No better time than now with Yankees-Red Sox coming up this weekend. That’s 15 hours of baseball in one weekend!

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