This season Wrigley Field is known for having too few bathrooms and construction equipment where bleachers should be. Most seasons Wrigley is known for its trademark ivy on the outfield wall. This ivy will at times will interject itself into the game.
Check out this play:
This was a big call. The Cubs were down one at the time. If Fowler is allowed to score, the complexion of the game changes quite a bit.
Sadly, for Cub fans, the umpires got it right and called this a ground rule double. I will go farther and even argue it is just a straight up rule book double.
Rule 7.05 (f) says:
Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance—
(f) Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or is deflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goes through or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines;
Pay close attention to the language. It says nothing about being visible. It only says the rule applies if the ball “sticks”. I would reasonably define “stick” as a ball that is not moving up or down within the vines. This ball was clearly stuck.
The Cubs announcers nailed it…again. They are excellent with the rule book.
A lot of fans want a distinction between a visible and non-visible ball. I see the point, but in the end I disagree. It is unfair to ask a player to go digging for a ball.
Base awards are covered on pages 60 and 62 of RuleGraphics.
RuleGraphics is a well organized, visual way to learn the rules of baseball.