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Umpires

You Make The Call: Batter Interference
By Tom Lepperd
MLB Director, Umpire Administration

The correct answer to this play is "A": It's interference by the batter, and the batter is declared out. Rule 6.06(c) covers this infraction as do Rules 7.08(b) and 7.09(L). We're happy to say that the majority of fans answered this correctly! Here are some of the correct responses we received:

The options were:

A. The batter is out for interference.
B. No violation. The ball is alive and in play. It's a foul ball.
C. Konerko is awarded first base on catcher's interference.

I think the correct answer is A because of rule:
"7.09(L) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball; When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called."

But as everybody can see in the video, the batter-runner is not going to first base. He's just standing outside of the batter's box watching the ball. So he is not "protected" by the last part of 7.09(L).

So I would call, "That's Interference. Time! Batter's out!" And no runner shall advance on such a play!
-- P. GĂ©ronne, Germany

According to rule 6.06(c), Paul Konerko should be called out, as he interfered with the catcher's ability to catch an easy pop-up. The rule states: (c) A batter is out for illegal action when he interferes with the catcher's fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter's box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher's play at home base. Konerko clearly hindered the catcher's ability to make the play.
-- Matt Warner

In this situation, I would call Konerko out for interference, as described in Rule 7.09 (l). Konerko failed to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball. If Konerko was running to first base instead of standing on the plate, there probably would be no call if he bumped the catcher while vacating the batter's box. This is incidental contact as noted in Rule 7.09(L).
-- Azim Jessa