Yount recalls similar interference play
Brewers Hall of Famer involved in umpire ruling in the '80s
MILWUAKEE -- Brewers bench coach Robin Yount was immediately aware of the interference rule when it came into play Saturday night. He'd been on the wrong end of that rule before.In the ninth inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series, with the Brewers leading, 4-1, but facing a bases-loaded jam, second-base umpire Jim Joyce called the Phillies' Shane Victorino for interference. Victorino was trying to break up a double play but never attempted to slide, so he was out, along with the batter running from home to first, who was thrown out.
Yount knew there was a second component to the call, one which the umpires initially missed. The bases were loaded when Pedro Feliz hit his double-play grounder, so the two other runners had to return to their original bases, one to third base and one to second.The ruling took a run off the board for the Phillies. Yount credited the umpires for huddling and getting the call right. He knew what the Phillies must have been feeling. "I did that myself once, and I really felt stupid," Yount said. Yount was the runner guilty of interference during a mid-1980s game -- he doesn't remember the exact year -- against the Twins at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. He admits today that it was retaliation for Kent Hrbek's take-out slide of Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner in the previous inning. Yount was upset about what he called "a cheap shot," so when he reached first the following inning and the batter behind him hit a double-play grounder, he got his chance. Yount charged into the Twins defender at second base -- again, he doesn't remember who it was -- and was called for interference. Or, as Gantner once famously called it, "construction," actually meaning "obstruction."
But the Brewers also had a runner at third, so Yount learned the hard way about rule 2.00 (a): "Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules."In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch." The play cost Yount and the Brewers a run. He could not remember whether that run mattered in the outcome of the game. "Had I known that the runner would have to go back, I would not have chosen that moment to do it," he said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.