Friday, May 24, 2024

John Schriffen Goes Off On Umpires After Controversial Ending To White Sox Game


White Sox play-by-play announcer John Schriffen channeled his inner Hawk Harrelson on Thursday night after a valiant White Sox comeback attempt was thwarted by one of the strangest calls to end a game in recent MLB history. 

The White Sox were trailing 8-2 against the Baltimore Orioles, in a game where Bears quarterback Caleb Williams and several of his teammates were in attendance at Guaranteed Rate Field. 

The White Sox strung together back-to-back walks to open the frame before Tommy Pham cut the deficit to five with an RBI single. Nicky Lopez singled to load the bases before Andrew Vaughn scratched another run across by getting hit by a pitch. Gavin Sheets made it a two-run game by singling on a ground ball to right field to put the winning run at the plate with no outs. 

With runners on first and second the infield fly rule was in effect. Zach DeLoach struck out swinging for the first out of the inning which set the stage for Andrew Benintendi. That’s when things got weird. Benintendi hit a pop fly to shortstop Gunnar Henderson. 

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As Vaughn slowly walked back to the base, Henderson had to run around him to catch the pop fly. Vaughn was just getting back to the bag to tag up and did not realize Henderson was behind him. Benintendi was ruled out on an infield fly rule. The umpire then called Vaughn out for interference. That’s when Schriffen lost it. 

“No, they can’t end the game like this. No way,” Schriffen said. “Adrain Johnson, as the crew chief you gotta take over here. That cannot be how this game ends! They called an infield fly rule and then they called Andrew Vaughn out at second on an infield fly rule. 

“We’ve seen some bad calls this season. That is one of the worst calls I have ever seen. That is terrible!” Schriffen later added. 

MLB rule 6.01 (a) states:  A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether intentional or not. 

The rule goes on to say: If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder he shall not be called out. The rule is a judgment call. Vaughn certainly was not trying to get in the way and the fact that Henderson made the catch relatively easily makes it hard to believe he was “hindered.”


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May 24, 2024 8:07 am

Watching the replay, the SS had to change direction when making an attempting on the ball. So just like the rule states as you posted, even though the runner didn’t intentionally mean to interfere, it’s still interference. It looks like the 3B, 2B, and home plate umpire all made the call.

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