Word UP! The Infield Fly Rule

Cameo Word Up

(Some days I’m really glad I saved my old albums.)

“Yo, pretty ladies around the world, got a WEIRD thing to show you, so tell all the boys and girls…!”

Happy Friday, sports fans and wanna-bes! Trying a new feature this week: Word Up! in which I take sports rules and terms and explain them in plain English. This week, a classic, and a great smug-buster for any guy who challenges whether you know sports: baseball’s Infield Fly Rule.

Try to imagine, if you can ladies, this scenario that never, ever could possibly happen in a million years: You come home from a crap day at work, and find your husband snoring with his feet propped up on the coffee table. Again. Meanwhile, you go into the kitchen, slip in pee from the dog your daughter didn’t walk, and discover the sinkful of dirty dishes your son didn’t wash like you asked.

It’s tempting to go all “Cell Block Tango” on everyone. But then you realize they will think you are a crazy person, and you’ll feel guilty, then wind up doing it all yourself anyway… So you settle instead for dropping a frozen pizza and some paper plates in hubby’s lap, grabbing the keys and meeting the girls out for dinner, leaving the ingrates to fend for themselves.

See? In the end, by being patient and thinking big-picture, you reap the best rewards. The infield fly rule exists for much the same reason–so players will be patient and win the game fairly. It prevents greedy infielders from pretending to drop a pop fly when there are runners at first and second, or bases loaded, therefore giving the infielders more possible outs (a double or triple play) as opposed to only one (the batter with the pop fly if it were caught).

If the ump invokes the rule, the batter is out, but the other outs are negated. (That’s the simplest explanation; here’s a cool video description of the finer points of infield fly-situation plays if you want to know more.) The situation isn’t common, but grabs headlines when it does arise. Still, most athletes choosing to be honest and earn their win.

Unless you’re A-Rod, or Lance Armstrong or…nevermind, enjoy the video:

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