2013 World Series: Why Obstruction Call Shouldn't Matter To Boston Red Sox

By Carter Roane

Admittedly, the obstruction call that ended Game 3 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St.Louis Cardinals was probably the strangest ending of a World Series game in the history of baseball. However, if one is a Red Sox fan, you shouldn’t be thinking it was a horrible call and that the Red Sox got the short end of the stick.

As obscure as a rule as obstruction can be and as infrequently as you may see it called in a game, it was the right call. A lot of Boston fans get very sensitive about this rule because in the 1975 World Series where the Red Sox faced the Cincinnati Reds, an umpire made the wrong call using the interference rule and that went against the Red Sox. This was not the case.

This time around, it was actually obstruction and not interference. Those are two different rules and they tend to be called the same thing. As well, interference tends to imply that a fielder did something intentional to stop a runner from advancing. I think that is why a lot of Boston fans are so upset — they think that third baseman Will Middlebrooks didn’t intentionally stop Allen Craig from scoring.

However, according to the obstruction rule, it doesn’t matter. Whether he meant to or not, Middlebrooks got tangled up with Craig and stopped him from scoring. As painful as it is to admit, it was the right call.

It doesn’t matter that this game had enormous magnitude. A rule is a rule and if it had been the Red Sox who were the recipients of this rule, you better believe Red Sox Nation would be rocking. Another thing to keep in mind is that Jarrod Saltalamacchia should never have thrown the ball. If he holds on to the ball or makes an accurate throw, this ending would never have happened.

So, let’s not start the cursed talk again. It’s over, it’s done. Let’s move on.

Carter Roane is a Boston Red Sox writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter@CarterGRoane, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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