Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
The Rays knocked off the Rangers by three Monday night, and the game, presumably, was not decided by a successful pick-off in the bottom of the first. However, it was a pick-off most interesting, given the actions of James Loney at first base. So while the pick-off is not what people will be talking about Tuesday, it seemed like this should be opened up for a poll, in order to gauge reader opinion. Following, the play, along with the pertinent rules. Is this obstruction, or is this good defense on Loney’s part? Elvis Andrus was quickly erased, and the Rangers’ odds of winning dropped more than four percentage points. Who’s to say what the inning could’ve become? Do we even need to worry about the context or significance when talking about a rule-book gray area? From the rules:  OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered ?in the act of fielding a ball.? It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the ?act of fielding? the ball. For example: If an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner. Up to you, now. Not really, I mean, it’s all already been decided. But, weigh in anyway. Take Our Poll
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