Home Sports White Sox discover yet another way to lose a game: Infield fly rule interference

White Sox discover yet another way to lose a game: Infield fly rule interference

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CHICAGO, IL – MAY 23: Pedro Grifol (5) of the Chicago White Sox argues with the umpires after a pop out by Andrew Benintendi (23) of the Chicago White Sox was called an unassisted double play after the interference from Andrew Vaughn (25). of the Chicago White Sox after a game against the Baltimore Orioles on May 23, 2024 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox, owners of the worst record in MLB, once again innovated the science of losing on Thursday. Although, to be fair, they had the help of the referees.

Down 8-6 against the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago had a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth inning when Andrew Benintendi came to the plate with two runners on base and one out. Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel got him to fly out with a high fastball.

Benintendi was out before the ball fell into shortstop Gunnar Henderson’s glove via the infield fly rule, which should have been the second out for the White Sox. He ended up being third as well, when runner Andrew Vaughn was called out for interference.

Interference, on a fly ball inside the box.

Both White Sox manager Pedro Grifol and the White Sox announcers had some harsh words for the decision:

The replay didn’t really help explain what the referee saw. Vaughn can be seen watching the fly ball and slowly making his way back to second base, his back to Henderson the entire time. Henderson has to step to the right to avoid colliding with an unsuspecting Vaughn, but he still reaches the ball’s destination with several seconds to spare.

Vaughn was confused After the match:

“So I was reading the play. I saw the pop-up. I knew it was a fly ball to the infield. I read it and started shuffling back and then he passed me on the right side. He went and made the play, and then The referee called me.

“I didn’t feel like they talked him out of making the play. It was a high fly ball, we were all reading it… My back is to the shortstop, I don’t know where he is.”

Under the strictest letter of the law, the play could be considered interfering with a fielder, since an infield fly ball is not a dead ball.

From the MLB rule book:

“Rule 6.01(a) Interference Comment Penalty: A runner who is deemed to have hindered a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out, whether intentional or not.”

And then:

“(An infield fly) is live and runners can advance with the risk of the ball being caught, or touch up and advance after the ball is touched, just as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul, it is treated the same as any fault.”

Regardless of how they got there, it’s another loss for the White Sox, who are now 15-36 in a season with low expectations.

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