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No, Ben Revere, This Is Not a Catch

Jun 23, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

source:

Maybe Jayson Stark should have given the rules quiz to Ben Revere. The Phillies’ centerfielder played a lazy fly ball a bit too casually on Sunday, the end result of which was the umpire correctly ruling the batter safe.

Revere positioned himself under Juan Lagares’ pop fly during the top of the fifth inning for what appeared to be a routine catch. Revere squeezed, and there should have been one out

Instead Lagares was standing on third base, and Revere was left with egg on his face. The ball got away from the defender as he went to transfer it to his free hand, hitting the ground before he could regain control of the situation.

[ Watch video of Revere’s “catch” ]

Revere can throw his hands in the air in protest all he wants. It wasn’t a catch as far as Major League Baseball is concerned. Via their official rules:

A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

In other words, the catch is not considered complete until after the exchange. It’s not the most common rule in the book, but most people were probably aware of this. Based on his reaction, Revere apparently was not.

Chris Wheeler conceded the ruling was technically correct during the Phils broadcast, but questioned whether second base umpire D.J. Reyburn should have made that call in this particular situation. Hey, rules are rules, and are that for a reason. One can easily make the case Revere never had complete control of the ball.

source:

After the game Revere said he thought the ump blew the call. He didn’t though, but okay.

“I asked him, I said, ‘You saw where I had the ball in my glove for a good three or four seconds.’ And he said, ‘It’s just you had to have complete control.’” Revere said of his conversation with second-base umpire D.J. Reyburn. “I was like, ‘Complete control? Like all the way through to throw the ball?’ He was like, ‘No, the glove.’ And I said, ‘I had the glove, I had the ball in my glove the whole time.’ I guess it’s just a bad call. Terrible call.”

Revere is quietly putting together a nice little season at the plate, batting .327 since May 1. His play in the outfield on the other hand has often been shaky to say the least. If it were just this play you might be able to overlook this as a dumb mistake and move on, but he’s consistently demonstrated a real lack of competence out there.

The Mets scored three runs in the inning, not that it mattered. The Phillies couldn’t score any through nine, getting blanked by impressive youngster Matt Harvey for six, then shutdown by the bullpen over the final three. New York won 8-0.

The PhiLOLies dropped two of three to the Mets in the series. But you already knew that because you spent all weekend glued to your couch watching.

>> BOX SCORE [CBS]

  1. Shaun - Jun 23, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I strongly disagree he had the ball enough time to call it a out, they never call that rule and some scrub umpire who in Game 1 of the series had NO strike zone to speak of calls it BULLSHIT. It should of been an out but its the same old the ump wanting to be bigger then the game and wanted the star to be on him. I agree with Revere.

    Reply
    • dumb - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      by agreeing with Revere you are also WRONG.

      the freakin’ rule is right there to read. it’s not a catch. so that was the right call.

      Reply
  2. GTown_Dave - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    These Phillies put the “Duh” in “fundamentals”, & Revere is one of the worst offenders. Attempting to drop the ball into his throwing hand was lazy, & stupid. The umpire made the correct call.

    Reply
  3. frothy - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Revere was right. The rule above, as quoted, says if he holds it in his hand OR GLOVE long enough to establish the validity of the catch, then it is a catch. The transfer does not enter into it. What that means is that if he catches the ball in the glove and it sits there for a few seconds and then, during transfer, he drops it, it is a catch but the runners can advance.

    The umpire was wrong.

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      “… release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.” That would be the transfer, unless you think his dropping the ball on the ground was intentional.

      Reply
      • frothy - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        It could have been. It’s sort of hard to prove intent. But the first part of the rule is very clear, and he obviously didn’t break it. It’s kind of surprising that Wheels got this right.

      • Cuban - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        I would say it was definitely voluntary, and he intentionally dropped the ball out of his glove for sure too, and just unintentionally dropped it out of his right hand. I wouldn’t say its black and white

      • Andrew Kulp - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Wheels did get it right… he said the umpire’s call was technically correct, he just didn’t think it should have been enforced in this case. That’s another matter, and while I don’t strongly disagree, it’s beside the point.

        First, I wouldn’t say Revere didn’t break the first part of the rule. The time elapsed from ball in his glove to ball on the ground was roughly one second. Another person can prove the outfielder had control when the ball was in his possession for one second?

        Second, the rule is prove control AND voluntary/intentional release of the ball. Since outfielders don’t regularly drop the ball on the ground and Revere scrambled to pick it up, I would say the action wasn’t intentional. I would also suggest it was evidence he didn’t control the ball in the first place.

        Which is sort of the point. There are two ways to prove the catch. One: catch it and hold it in the glove until it’s beyond reasonable doubt. Two: catch it and don’t drop it on the ground when making the exchange. It’s simple. It’s clear. I am genuinely surprised there is so much debate over it.

      • frothy - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        He did have control. He caught it, and there it stayed, in his glove, for sufficient time.

        This kind of ruling only makes sense when a fielder catches a ball and then quickly transfers it to his throwing hand and, while doing so, drops it. That would be a missed catch and an error.

        It’s certainly not a play I’d protest if I were the OF (or the manager), but IMO it was misapplied here by the umpire.

      • F1thyrich - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        So what you are saying is, if he catches it in his glove long enough to establish the validity of the catch — let’s say he runs 5 or 6 steps with ball in glove — then goes to transfer it to his hand to throw it but the ball drops unintentionally, the batter would be called safe? It was a catch. No different than the drop on transfer on a double play.

      • Ron Swanson - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        The call is wrong. This writer conveniently left out a part of the rule which states “If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught.” This ball was caught, the transfer is made in order to throw the ball. Very, very convenient use of the ellipses by Andrew Kulp.

      • Andrew Kulp - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Except Revere is not in the act of throwing… an object has to be in your hand before you can throw it.

      • Ron Swanson - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        The transfer is part of the throw not part of the catch. It’s the same thing as when there is a double play ball and a fielder drops the ball on the transfer, they still get the first out because they already caught the ball. He did voluntarily release the ball from his glove to his throwing hand and then dropped it. That does not negate the initial catch.

  4. BenE. - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Revere caught the ball, there is no question about that. He dropped the ball trying to hot dog the transfer. That’s still a catch, according to MLB rules.

    Reply
  5. Chris - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Catch made. Held. RELEASE was voluntary and intentional. Post release was a drop. Not in rules. It’s a catch. Blown call.

    Reply
  6. aswift5648 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Getting really tired of Ben Revere’s careless and lazy approach to fielding.

    Reply
    • Von9 - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Get this clown out of my ballclub. No power, poor defense. Juan Pierre sucked massively and was better than this stiff. Even the stat nerds agree.

      The dropped ball is a symbol of his overall game.

      Reply
  7. Mike - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Who cares, they got blown out and that 1 play wouldn’t have change the outcome. Young umpire trying to show-boat on a bullshit rule call just to get his name out there. Not shocking.

    Reply
  8. Jay - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    A nice little season at the plate? He has a .619 OPS. He’s one of the least productive hitters in baseball.

    Reply
    • Masked Enigma - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      Judging someone like Revere by their OPS isn’t fair because his slugging percentage will naturally be significantly lower than even an average hitter since he has negative power. I know his OBP should be better than .310 but he’s not the kind of player to grade based on OPS in my opinion.

      Reply
  9. jhisler - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.
    Obviously the release was intentional and he held it for a few seconds showing control. There’s nothing in that rule that says its not a catch until a successful release. With 2 outs its an out, ump doesn’t even pay attention to the release.

    Reply
    • philliemandan - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      With 2 outs you don’t generally take your ball out of your glove either

      Reply
  10. jonny - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Did he make a ‘football motion’?

    Reply
  11. hitnrun - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    It’s kind of funny how the actual rule in baseball is, effectively, pretty damn close to the football rule for what is and is not a catch, but experienced baseball lifers consider the standard to be totally different.

    Reply
  12. doug - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it

    how can you post this in your article and say its not a catch he clearly had the ball in his glove in secure possession its an out bad call

    Reply
  13. Eddie - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    As stated above the rule is simple. A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

    Broken down in this play you get this: A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it (which the replay shows the ball is in his glove and he closes the glove around it) … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball (a couple of steps which Revere made) and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional ( reaching his hand in to get the ball and then dropping it out of the glove is an intentional and voluntary release of the ball, and hot dogging isn’t a part of the rule but is as intentional as you can get).

    So based on the rule this article provided above he did make the catch in the parameters the rule set forth, plain and simple.

    Reply
  14. Paul - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I think that the umpire had the wrong judgement in this call simply for the fact that you can argue the last part of that rule, “that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.” In my judgement as a little league umpire, there is a clear argument that he was intentionally letting go of the ball to throw it.

    Reply
  15. Dan - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    He closes his glove on the ball, then moves his other hand under and opens the glove again to drop it. He clearly ‘caught’ the ball, then botched the transfer.

    My question is, if the transfer is considered part of the catch, why are all the botched transfers on double play attempts still given the out at 2nd base?

    Reply
    • Masked Enigma - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      This is the exact point I was going to bring up. The author of this article clearly misinterpreted the rule because the transfer is NOT part of the catch! Revere absolutely caught that ball and then intentionally tried to transfer it to his throwing hand and it slipped out. Obviously the drop was unintentional but the act of making the transfer in the first place validates the catch.

      Reply
  16. willh888 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I don’t know any ball player that voluntarily or intentionally drops the ball like that, but they do voluntarily turn their glove to transfer the ball to their throwing hand (being hasty or lazy). That’s what Revere did. Most of the time they call that a catch

    Reply
  17. Andrew Kulp - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    The same thing happened to the Red Sox in Detroit on Sunday: http://wapc.mlb.com/det/play/?topic_id=8878994&c_id=det

    This was the umpire’s response after the game: “To have a catch, you have to have complete control and voluntary release,” said crew chief Ted Barrett, the third base umpire. “(DiMuro) had him with control, but did not have the voluntary release. When he flipped the ball out of his glove, he never got it into his hand. That’s not voluntary release.”

    As I said before, what Ben Revere did is not considered a voluntary and intentional release because he obviously did not voluntarily or intentionally drop the ball on the ground. That’s the rule, and two umpires in two different places on the same day called it correctly.

    Reply
    • philliemandan - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Even the Nava catch looks more disputable than this one because he was in an awkward position with the ball hitting the heel of his glove and having no change in direction from being hit to popping out.

      I would be willing to go to bat for Revere here for two reasons, and they are the ball obviously changed directions in a controlled manner. It went from flyball to drop out of glove, which are easily distinguishable in the video. And the other is the close proximity of the ball and the glove at the point of the balls release from the glove. His hand and the ball were touching and it really looks like the ball falls to the ground because he loses control during the transfer. Who ever stated that the proper way to transfer a ball horizontally and not vertically. Because I can guarantee that when a shortstop fumbles the ball during a double play transfer, he is throwing the ball out into his hand, not just simply reaching into his glove. If the rule read “the release is voluntary and intentional and controlled” then that would be another story. And for my example of how this happens in real game situations, I take you to the infield. When the shortstop catches a line drive with the bases empty and no one out, he might flip the ball in his glove to the second baseman. I know I have seen it at some point. If the second baseman does not catch the ball, would it still be an out?

      I am not willing to call anyone right or wrong here because the call is arbitrary, and another ump with a different view may call it a different way. I just don’t think that it should all fall on Revere because a call like this is as arbitrary as a ball or strike.

      Reply
  18. Tyler - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    You are completely wrong on this one. The rule says nothing about the exchange.

    “secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it ”

    He had it in his glove for plenty of time. Horrible call…even the Met’s announcers thought it was horrible.

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Uh, the Mets announcers actually said it was “Absolutely not a catch” right at the end of the video.

      Reply
  19. doug - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    read your own article

    A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

    how much longer should he have held the ball before you consider his release of the ball voluntary and intentional your got it wrong live with it

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      The time elapsed from ball in glove to ball on ground is roughly one second. To answer your question, I would say he should control the ball at least longer than that.

      Reply
      • doug - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        so whats the time elapsed for glove to ground on bad double plays come on man you got it wrong plan and simple

      • Andrew Kulp - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        The question is not whether the rule is selectively enforced, the question is whether it was correctly enforced here.

  20. Fox - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    That’s BS, he caught the ball, took a few steps with the ball still in his glove, took it out and dropped it. BS call from a BS ump. There’s no way you can say that wasn’t a catch. These umps are complete fools this year. Bud Selig needs to punish these idiots for ruining games, of course this game was a lost cause anyway, but other games have been more drastically changed because of terrible calls.

    Reply
  21. EJB - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    “A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional”

    Key phrase: “his release of the ball is VOLUNTARY and INTENTIONAL”. Revere intentionally dropped the ball from his glove. He missed his hand, but the release was voluntary and intentional. The rule says nothing about a transfer. I’m a METS fan and I can say the umpire blew that call.

    And the old man’s attitude that he shouldn’t have been styling or showing off is the reason why no one likes baseball.

    Reply
  22. SR - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Kulp’s interpretation of the rule is brutal. As stated above, the rule does not imply that an out is called only after the transfer of the ball to the hand ( As Kulp would have you believe). The out is called after Revere intentionally drops it from his glove. It does not matter that he dropped it to the ground

    Reply
    • philliemandan - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      So let me get this straight. I catch the ball and just stand there for 5 seconds or so, wait for the ump to make the out call, which he will do if I make it look natural enough. Then a second outfielder comes and tackles me intentionally and unnecessarily and I release the ball unintentionally after the out call, the umpire would have blown the call?

      Reply
  23. rogerthat - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    “the fielder shall hold the ball LONG ENOUGH TO PROVE that he has complete control of the ball and THAT his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.”

    So had Revere held on longer, that would prove that his release was both voluntary and intentional. However I feel it was long enough as is. The rule is being misinterpreted as the release must be voluntary and intentional, when in writing it states that the catch should be evident that the ball isn’t slipping out of his glove.

    Reply

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