Joe Maddon has nothing on the Kia Tigers’ manager.
The Tigers were tied with the KT Wiz in the ninth inning of a recent Korean Baseball Organization game with runners on second and third. In an attempt at a bizarre shift, the Tigers tried to put their third baseman behind the catcher near the backstop.
(Skip to the 3:50 mark to see the play.)
That’s a bold strategy, Kia.
[tweet https://twitter.com/MyKBO/status/598478098145746944 align=’center’]
The explanation the team’s manager gave actually makes sense, as he told reporters the Tigers planned on intentionally walking the batter and wanted to place an extra fielder behind home plate to prevent a run from scoring on a wild pitch.
Either that, or he knew the batter has a debilitating habit of popping out behind home plate.
The home plate umpire, however, didn’t allow the Tigers to employ the shift. Rule 4.03 of the MLB rulebook states that all fielders other than the catcher must be in fair territory when a ball is put in play. According to MyKBO.net, the KBO has the same rule, with the addendum that the ump issue a warning and delay the game until the player returns to his post.
Fortunately, Kia didn’t allow the no-fun umpire to rain on its parade, securing a 9-8 win on a walk-off homer in the tenth inning.