Right Field

Rick Klein, 10/1: ‘I Used to Love the Infield-Fly Rule. . . . Now I Loathe It and Want It Repealed’

Here is what ABC News’ Klein had to say about the infield-fly rule to NRO before the NL wildcard game mayhem at Turner Field took place:

I used to love the infield-fly rule for its gentlemanly spirit; now I loathe it and want it repealed.

Why should you be rewarded with the guarantee of only one out if you hit a fly ball, with two or three runners on base, that doesn’t even leave the infield? You’re not similarly rewarded if you hit a sharp ground ball or a rocket of a line drive that leaves the defense a chance of turning two.

Think of the extra action if the runner has to go a quarter or half way — a game of chicken on the basepaths while the infielder decides whether to risk letting a sure out drop on the grass.

[Note: Immediately following the Cardinals–Braves wild-card game, in which the controversial application of the infield-fly rule in the bottom of the eighth inning hurt Atlanta’s chances of a comeback, I asked Klein for a follow-up comment. His response: “P.S. Braves fans, I rest my case.”]

More here, including Charles Krauthammer’s take on Bryce Harper’s right arm and Fox News’ Adam Housley’s explanation as to why experience does matter in the postseason.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.


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