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Missed call on “super ring” rule leads to Kanemoto homer

by on Aug.16, 2010 @ 12:33 am, under NPB

7:51pm JST

It seems Ryotao Sakai was given a stern warning and docked 50% of his pay for the game (about 24,000 yen).  The other umps were also given warnings.

12:33am JST

Tomoaki Kanemoto skied a ball in the 2nd inning that apparently hit a section of the Kyocera Dome ceiling called the super ring.  The rules for the stadium state that balls that hit the super ring are considered in play, but rookie first base ump Ryotaro Sakai (first Ichi-gun game of his career) immediately ruled the ball foul.

The umps ended up convening in the middle of the diamond to discuss the call after there was some question as to whether or not balls that hit the ceiling were indeed foul.  After a few minutes the lead up walked over to the microphone and announced that the ball should have been considered in-play but that since play stopped due to the original call, it would be considered a foul ball.

Akinobu Mayumi apparently wasn't happy with that call and rushed out of the dugout to complain.

In the end, the foul call actually helped Kanemoto out since he ended up hitting a home run in that same at bat.  Had the play been called properly, Kanemoto maybe gets a double or a triple out of it.

It should also be noted that it was after that Kanemoto's homer that Tony Barnette seemed to fall out of rhythm (he did get out of the inning without any further damage, but fell apart in the 3rd inning).  Again, had the play been called properly, the umps and Mayumi don't spent 5-10 minutes talking about the call.

5 comments on “Missed call on “super ring” rule leads to Kanemoto homer

  1. Eric Lord

    This was hilarious to watch on TV – as the umpires huddled, they kept cutting to Asai and Sekimoto in the dugout looking over the gound rules that were posted on the wall. The tricky part of the call was the the ball hit the roof in foul territory and then bounced back fair – common sense says that’s a foul ball, and even the play-by-play guys on Sun TV said they’d never seen a ball do that before at the Osaka Dome. Hopefully that marks a bit of a turning point in Aniki’s season; if he heats up, the Tigers would have a pretty terrifying lineup.

    1. Gen Post author

      Did they ever actually say definitively if the ball hit the ceiling in fair or foul territory? I was watching on NHK BS1 and the announcers said they couldn’t see where the ball hit from where they sat. And of course, there were no replay angles available. And from the articles I’ve read, they all seem to point to the ball being fair, based on where the ball hit the ceiling. There was even a quote from the main ump that said the call by the first base ump was wrong.

    2. Eric Lord

      Yeah, they said the ball hit the ceiling in foul territory, bounced back and landed fair. The Kyocera Dome ground rules apparently have it that the rings are all in play, so a ball that hits them is governed by where it lands in terms of fair/foul calls. If the ball had hit the rings and landed in the seats, it’s clearly a foul ball – apparently this is the first time anyone can remember that a ball hit the rings foul and then landed fair.

      The Kyocera Dome itself is a cool design, but really not well suited to baseball – the closest comparison I can think of is the Trop in Florida, where the Rays play, with those silly catwalks. I remember in the season openers Arai almost put a ball into orbit, but it got stuck in one of those rings and was ruled a double – then two days later he stuck another one into the rings and it was ruled a foul ball.

      Anyway, here’s a video of the feed I had on Sun TV. The announcers seem pretty sure that the ball bounced from foul to fair, but that the ground rules have that as a fair ball, and the chief umpire seems to agree with them in the explanation he gives over the mic. Not my video, of course.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEuniqrmWEo

    3. Eric Lord

      Here’s the Kyocera Dome ground rules.

      http://www.jaba.or.jp/taikai/2009/syakaijin/pdf/kyosera.pdf

      The section in question is section 1:

      ①打球がフェア地域、ファウル地域の区別なく天井もしくはスーパーリング(外周照明含まず)に当たった場合、またはスーパーリングの内側に入り直ぐに落ちてきた場合はボールインプレイで、地上に落ちる前に野手が捕球すれば打者アウトになる。

      I’ll try a translation…

      1) In the event that a batted ball, regardless of being in fair or foul territory, strikes the ceiling or the Super Rings (not including the outfield floodlights), or immediately fall back down after going into the Super Rings, the ball is in play, and the batter is out if the ball is caught by a fielder before it strikes the ground.

      1. Gen Post author

        Thanks for the links.

        The shots Sun TV showed are far better than what NHK was showing (I don’t remember them showing Asai looking at the rules in the dugout). The announcers on NHK also weren’t sure where the ball hit because they apparently didn’t have a clear view of the ceiling. But in looking at the Sun TV footage, the ball did indeed appear to be heading foul (the NHK broadcast I was watching last night had a different camera angle that was closer to the field and it was tougher to see where the ball was actually heading).

        In either case, it ended up working well for Kanemoto.

        And that was a pretty tough pitch Kanemoto hits for a homer. Could very well be a trigger for him.

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