Baseball rules question: interference.

There was a play today in the Blue Jays v. Red Sox game. The batter was running to first, within the 45 foot line and the pitcher (covering first) was trying to catch up with errant throw. Massive collision, both players ended up on the ground. The pitcher had to leave the game and the batter looked dazed (elbowed in the head) but certainly never touched the base. But he was awarded first base. What is the rule when both players are doing their legitimate thing and not trying to interfere with the other, but does?

That’s not interference, it’s obstruction.

Unless the pitcher had the ball or was fielding the ball, the runner has the right to proceed unimpeded. I assume chasing down an errant throw is not fielding the ball.

Intent isn’t supposed to enter into the ruling. In any case of obstruction (or interference – the difference is that the defence can obstruct, the offence can interfere) the umpire is to set things the way he feels the play would have gone had there been no obstruction.

Here’s the definition of obstruction:

Here’s the rule:

Need to see the video.