Sports ‘n’ Things: A Happy Birthday to Mr. Field

"He pitched in wherever and whenever he could, even coaching Babe Ruth baseball when adults were needed there."

Blue Jays fans may whine all they want. The call that ended Tuesday’s game was absolutely correct. The base runner, Jose Bautista, deliberately interfered (and basically admitted to it) with the defensive player in an effort to prevent a double play, so the runner at first was out.

No ifs, ands, or buts, except that the call should not have needed replay. It was nothing to do with the new, “slide rule,” no matter how ignorantly the announcers, the Jays’ incompetent manager and most pundits (none of whom have a clue about the rules) claimed that. It was the century old interference rule that was in play. You have never been allowed to grab a fielder to prevent that fielder from making a throw – it has always been a double play in circumstances like Tuesday’s if you do. It will always be.

I tell you this as someone who studied the rules, attended the clinics and officiated at every level of amateur baseball (and softball) for half a century. I also say it someone who, as a catcher and infielder, never got bothered by someone running me, unless the play was long over and they came a relatively long way out of the base path to make the contact.

Major league umpires are less trustworthy and more interested in being part of, rather than facilitating, “The Show,” these days. But, on Tuesday night’s last play, they were, “absolutely right,” and the Blue Jays and their adherents wrong.

•Another Mickey Mouse moment occurs tomorrow, at the Warfield Hall. Dick Field, among the earliest in the second wave of family men to move into Mickey Mouse, will celebrate 90 years of life, from noon until 4 p.m. at the hall.

Dick was like a lot of the dads (and moms). He pitched in wherever and whenever he could, even coaching Babe Ruth baseball when adults were needed there – even though his kids were too young for it – and wasn’t a baseball mastermind or brilliant coach. A need was there, and he and a couple of his friends stepped up.

Dick is among the last of that second wave of Mickey Mouse immigrants still around, and recently had a bit of a health scare, but he is planning on showing up for his party. He always did like, and contribute to, a good time.

Come by and say, “Hi.” Nothing else required to make it a great day, for everybody.