The umpires, their supervisor and baseball executive vice president Joe Torre assured us that the infield fly rule was correctly interpreted, that left-field umpire Sam Holbrook made the proper call, that everything was fine.
Only it wasn't fine.
The call - on a ball hit well beyond the infield, to short left, by the Braves' Andrelton Simmons - marred the Cardinals' 6-3 victory in the National League wild-card game Friday night.
The ruling bewildered many of the Braves players, enraged the crowd, amounted to the wrong decision at the wrong time.
When a rule is barely understood, that's a problem. When a rule is applied in seemingly counter-intuitive fashion, that's a problem. When a rule causes fans to flip out, littering the field with debris and causing an 18-minute delay, that's a problem.
The conduct of some fans at Turner Field was inexcusable, and the reflexive, blame-the-official response by fans in all sports is growing more disturbing by the day. Problem is, people had...