October 4, 2003
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Game Three
BILL WILKE: Tonight was an example in the rule book. We have two kinds of obstruction, and tonight we happened to have both kinds in the game tonight. The first obstruction is if there is a play being made on the runner when the obstruction occurs, time is called immediately and the runner is awarded the next base from the one he had already occupied. He is entitled to his next base. That was the first one with Varitek. So I called time immediately. Then I called the obstruction and awarded him home. The second case, as Tejada was rounding third, he was obstructed by Miller. The ball had not been picked up or fielded by Ramirez yet, so this is the second example of obstruction where obstruction occurred without a play being made on the runner. When that happens we do not call time. We point to the obstruction. We let the play run through until all play has ceased. Then my job is a judgment call. Had Tejada been thrown out at the plate by a step or two -- Tejada is advancing at his own peril. Had he been thrown out by a step or two. I would have called time and protected him and scored the run, because I had the obstruction at third. It's a judgment call. When Tejada stopped, then he was tagged. He advances at his own peril. Had that obstruction not occurred and a runner stops halfway between home and third and then is tagged he cannot be protected under the obstruction rule.
ED MONTAGUE: We were just discussing this where the ball was at the time. Right away I saw Billy signal behind him in left field, saw him signal obstruction, and I guess Ken thought he was pointing him home. He's not pointing him home, he's signaling obstruction right away. He was not pointing him home. There was no time called at that moment. We just get together as a crew and decipher out what each of us have on that.
BILL WILKE: Other guys are watching the ball in relation to the fielder, possibly had the ball gotten to Ramirez sooner and he been closer, we may have been in a situation where a play may have been made. If he was clearly going home. That goes back to the other obstruction where we call time immediately. We have two different examples tonight.
Q. When Tejada saw you point, did he think that meant to go to the next base?
BILL WILKE: I don't think Tejada saw him point, because Tejada tried to look back to try to tell Bill there was an obstruction.
ED MONTAGUE: I don't think Miggy saw him giving the obstruction.
Q. When everyone saw the pointing to third --
BILL WILKE: I pointed at the obstruction, not at the bag. The obstruction occurred at the bag, and I can see where everyone would think I was pointing at the bag. My job as the umpire, when an obstruction occurs, I didn't call time, I pointed immediately, that's obstruction.
Q. That doesn't mean anything --
BILL WILKE: It doesn't mean anything other than the play continues. He advances at his own peril. We see what the results are and then I can step in and protect him. I can do anything that would nullify the act of the obstruction if that runner is called out or thrown out.
Q. Just to clarify it doesn't matter where the throw goes, it depends on the position of the runner?
BILL WILKE: That's a good question. That's why we let it play out. That's why we don't call time in that kind of an obstruction. We looked at the tape, but I'm trying to recall. In the first example, I called time immediately then I called the obstruction. In the second case, I called obstruction, I never called time, and I was pointing at the obstruction.
Q. Does it make it more difficult because he stopped for you to determine whether or not he would have made it home?
BILL WILKE: By stopping, he stopped running the bases and he was at his own peril by stopping. Had the throw -- my job is to let the play go as far as it will go. If he's thrown out, I will then come in and do whatever I have to do to nullify the act of obstruction. The play never continued because he stopped.
Q. Is that a play that could be protected and did Oakland ever mention protesting?
ED MONTAGUE: It's a judgment call right there. You can't protest a judgment call.
End of FastScripts...