The Cardinals have been owed a weird umpire call at least since game 6 of the 1985 World Series, right? (And, sorry Red Sox fans, the way the third baseman kicked up his legs was obstruction. See below).
Here’s the rule and comment:
OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.
Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: If an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.
In other words, Middlebrooks couldn’t just stay there after the ball got past him, and he made it worse by kicking up his legs (which is what tripped up Craig), which seemed intentional obstruction, although the rule does not require intent.
And the last time Ole Miss scored 59 points was beating Louisiana-Monroe in 2008.