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Hang Time
By Steve Stockmar
Daily Courier sports editor Steve Stockmar gives you the cheat sheet for todayís top sports stories.
Sunday, October 27, 2013

The obstruction attempt was valiant, but the call was correct

By Steve Stockmar

David J. Phillip/The Associated Press
The Cardinals' Allen Craig gets tangled with Bostonís Will Middlebrooks during the ninth inning of Game 3 Saturday night in St. Louis. Middlebrooks was called for obstruction on the play and Craig went in to score the game-winning run. The Cardinals won 5-4 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

It was the right call. Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks knew what he was doing. The call was correct.

But I still love the play by Middlebrooks.

It's moxie, it's instinct, it's borderline enough to make you wonder, it's total commitment to his dugout. (And I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm a Cub fan. I have a 3-legged kitten.)

It's different than, say, when Alex Rodriguez swatted at Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove to jar loose the baseball while he hustled to first base in the 2004 ALCS. In the flow of the play, it was clear that A-Rod went for a cheap WWE maneuver. And he didn't even disguise it well.

Stealing signs from a catcher can be disguised well. Taking a hit-by-pitch for the team - with the right batter - can be disguised well.

Middlebrooks had the right idea and the right circumstances to give it a try in an attempt to save his team a World Series loss. It was risky (hey, he was caught immediately after all), but it didn't get into 'cheap' territory.

Nice attempt by Middlebrooks. Nice call by the umpire crew. Good win for St. Louis.

And, hey, how about third-base ump Jim Joyce being involved in the call! He who made history for the wrong reasons by costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010. Joyce again in position for an historic call? No way! He got the call right Saturday night.

Also in the mix of the obstruction play was an instant classic call from play-by-play man Joe Buck. "Here's the throw! HE IS.....!!" By NOT saying anything, Buck said everything.

This Series has been terrific.

What do you make of the obstruction call?

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, November 04, 2013
Article comment by: It was a donkey call

Pure and simple ..... it was a DONKEY CALL....and was not even made until the runner was thrown out a home plate.

Posted: Saturday, November 02, 2013
Article comment by: Correct Call

Whether Middlebrooks intentionally lifted his legs to impede the runner is totally immaterial. What matters is that Middlebrooks interfered with the runner's progress while he was no longer in the act of fielding the ball ---intent matters not. The call was correct. It does raise questions about the rule, however. Is a fielder supposed to instantaneously disappear from the face of the earth the second he is no longer in the act of fielding?

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: S M

The obstruction ruling was correct. Calling the attempt at cheating "valiant" is B.S. logic put forth by Steve Stockmar. He suggests that cheating is OK, as long as you don't caught. He supports to the mind set that has put our country into the hole we may never climb out of.
Wake up Steve, you are part of the problem, and should keep your damaging short sighted words to yourself.

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