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#RedSox OF Jacoby Ellsbury just reached on catcher's interference. Check out these crazy stats:
From a story in July (with updated stats)
Jacoby Ellsbury has reached first base because of catcher’s interference 10 times since making his major league debut on June 30, 2007, four times in this season alone.
Ellsbury accounts for seven percent of the catcher’s interference calls made in the majors during his career. The active leader among players is Carl Crawford with 13. Pete Rose holds the all-time record with 29.
Ellsbury accounts for nearly a quarter of the 38 catcher’s interference calls in Red Sox history and is the only player to have had it called more than twice.
Outside of Ellsbury, the last catcher’s interference call involving a Red Sox batter was Darren Lewis in 1998.
So, Jacoby, what gives?
“I know I get it called a lot. But I really don’t know why,” the Red Sox center fielder said in July. “It’s hard for me to give a reason behind it.”
But Red Sox manager John Farrell has a theory.
“There’s some length to his swing. In his case, his length is not so much out front, it’s behind him,” Farrell said. “It’s a natural swing path.”
Farrell believes that the kind of pitch being thrown has something to do with it, too. He has noticed that when catchers reach for breaking pitches to frame them for the umpire, that’s when they tend to interfere with Ellsbury.
“It’s when a catcher goes and reaches rather than receiving,” Farrell said.
During his two seasons managing the Toronto Blue Jays, Farrell would warn his catchers about it.
“You were conscious of it,” he said. “You tried to remind the catchers not to get too tight to him.”
So what is catcher’s interference? Major League Baseball rule 6.08 (c) stipulates that: “The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when the catcher or any fielder interferes with him.”
In essence, interference in this case is the catcher’s mitt hitting the glove before the swing is completed. The catcher is charged with an error on the play but the hitter does not get an at-bat.
The latest came last Saturday against the Angels when Ellsbury took a swing and catcher Chris Iannetta’s glove hit his bat.
“It’s not something I’m trying to do,” Ellsbury said. “It just happens. But I’ll take it. Nine more times getting on base is a good thing, right?”