May Day is an international celebration of workers’ rights, thanks to some massacre or other that happened in some American city during a strike many years ago. So, every nation on earth takes a day off work for this, except in the US, where we had Labor Day long before any of this happened. Why do I bring this up? Because instead of obstructing workers’ rights, its seems that Red Sox SS Alex Cora spent his May Day holiday obstructing Yankee runner Derek Jeter from returning to second base. Or did he? You can review the argument here (Although this is mainly about the ump’s judgement, which is something no one is actually allowed to question):
Anyway, to the question at hand: When fielding a throw, is it obstruction if an infielder blocks the progress of a runner with his body?
The short answer to this is no. If a fielder is going for the ball and trying to make a play, then it’s tough luck on the runner if that fielder gets in his way. Likewise on a thrown ball, it is tough luck on the fielder if the runner knocks him over while going to the base. This is one of those situations where it helps to be large. I hope this makes sense, since the obstruction rule is really very simple. Any questions? This is Ask the Ump. So, ask!