Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
There are a lot of rules in sports that don’t make sense to me, but none more bewildering to my person than the sacrifice fly in baseball. Here are the criteria necessary to satisfy such a designation:
1 – Less than 2 outs.
2 – Ball hit to the outfield.
3 – Defender makes the play and the batter is out (or would have been out if not for an error).
4 – A runner who is already on base scores.
The batter is credited with an RBI and he is not charged with an official at-bat.
The sacrifice bunt is the only other instance in which a player is not so charged after putting the ball in play. The bunt I get – an individual is giving himself up for the betterment of the team’s situation. There is intent there. But unless you’re talking about plating the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, everybody’s looking to get a hit.
For the guy who flies out, the RBI is a nice consolation prize for his failed attempt to get on base. That’s all he should get. He shouldn’t be rewarded with a 0 for 0 stat line. The guy who’s thrown out on a chopper to second that allows the run to score is 0-1. The same end is achieved, yet he is penalized. Why not the fly ball hitter?
It’s absurd to assume that the player who hits the fly ball is merely intending to get his teammate across home plate. He’d gladly trade an RBI single or double or triple or 2 RBI home run for that fly ball.
To further complicate the rule, a batter in the midst of a hitting streak will have that streak halted by a sacrifice fly. Confusingly, his streak carries over if he registers all sacrifice bunts.
It doesn’t make any sense.