Atlanta Braves fans throw bottles, cans onto field after controv - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Atlanta Braves fans throw bottles, cans onto field after controversial call by umpire

Posted: Updated:
Hundreds of bottles and cans thrown by fans landed on Turner Field in Atlanta during the eighth inning of the Wild Card Playoff game between the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. Hundreds of bottles and cans thrown by fans landed on Turner Field in Atlanta during the eighth inning of the Wild Card Playoff game between the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
Turner Field employees cleaning up the trash thrown by fans on Friday night in Atlanta. Turner Field employees cleaning up the trash thrown by fans on Friday night in Atlanta.

In the middle of the eighth inning during the Atlanta Braves home playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals, fans began to feverishly throw beer cans, bottles and anything else they could find onto Turner Field after a controversial call by the third base umpire.

Down 6-3 to St. Louis, and with two men on base, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a pop-fly into shallow left field only to have the Cardinal's shortstop and left fielder watch it fall to the ground.  But the umpire made a late infield-fly call despite the ball being well into the outfield, ruling Simmons automatically out.

Atlanta manager Freddi Gonzalez and fans protested the call in disgust and the field of play was trashed, literally.  Play was delayed for close to 15 minutes to pick up all the trash from the field.

The Braves ended the inning without scoring, and went on to lose the one-game playoff, ending their 2012 season.

The infield-fly rule according to Major League Baseball:

"An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare "Infield Fly, if Fair."
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder—not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire's judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire's judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05 (L). The infield fly rule takes precedence."