In Major League Baseball, "Infield Fly" is explained by rule 2.00 (Definitions of terms), and rule 6.05e (Batter is out). Other leagues have similar rules. Since the purpose is to prevent double plays, the rule applies only when there are fewer than two outs, and there is a force play at third base (i.e., there are runners at first and second base, or the bases are loaded). In these situations, if a fly ball is in fair play, and in the umpire's judgment it is catch able by an infielder with ordinary effort, the umpire shall call "infield fly", and the batter will be out regardless of whether the ball is actually caught in flight. Umpires typically raise one arm straight up to signal to everyone that the rule is in effect. If "infield fly" is called and the fly ball is caught, it is treated exactly as an ordinary fly ball; the batter is out, there is no force, and the runners must tag up. On the other hand, if "infield fly" is called and the ball lands fair without being caught, the batter is still out, and there is no force, but the runners are not required to tag up. In either case, the ball is live, and the runners may advance at the risk of being doubled-off if the ball is caught.
This sort of rule may be part of the reason for the demise of baseball.
The fact that I am relating it may be this article's demise.
Ok, remember all the above and let's move on with more baseball analogies.
The day had become late again and I'd blown off any hope of getting a double Sunset Limited hit. The train's schedule has yet to control my laziness, a bigger than awing personal facet. The only other bigger than awing facet is my perverse individualism. That personal information out of the way, let me continue with explaining the afternoon.
I flipped on "Train XXX", a special subscription station on my Serious XM radio.
Wilson Slo-Rapper, in his cool, velvet smooth voice, jived on, "the Trak is movin' slow, so if you wanna go, you can make it to the show, I just wanna let you know, BNSF 209, out.
Absorbing the pure energy coming down off my radio's shelf, I ran right into the sliding glass door, again. I've lived in this house with that door for 36 years and still, from time to time, have these encounters.
Picking myself up off the floor intact since I'd already put on my helmet, I did the Lone Ranger onto my bike landing on the gas tank. I was off to Cade on my well worn route as soon as my screaming subsided.
My first swing at bat fouled a very mundane soft pitch far beyond the boring line.
My next hit was a bit more interesting.
I'd seen it being worked on at the Lafayette yard weeks ago.
Then it was not worth a shot. Today it seemed to be the star.
I fouled again.
Listening to muh rayjo man, Wilson Slo-Rapper, I could hear
the Trak Conductor saying he'd just split the New Iberia
depot. I'd just been there and missed its arrival. I made
for the closest ditch and jumped into it ripping both radio
earplugs from my ears, down the sides of my face,
catching in the corners of my mouth resulting in my lower
lip being trapped beneath the helmet's mouth guard.
Here she came. I'd try to carry on thought the taste
of blood was distracting.
My first single would be easy, if not pretty. Due to the
train's horrible framing, I almost decided not to run this one at all.
It had just cleared the historic depot of Olivier or perhaps
I was standing at it.
There she went off to New Orleans, maybe.
Since it was late, I thought that I might have a chance to
catch a meeting between the west and eastbound Sunset Specials.
Possibly Baldwin would be the place, maybe Bayou Sale. If
neither, I'd blow it off and consider the outing just another
called game. It depended on how tentative was the Slo-Rapper,
and how "on schedule" was the westbound. If Slo-Rapper
thought they might run into each other, possibly he'd
delay this train since it was already late.
I stopped by Baldwin after running 70 down the interstate. I was
serious about trying to pull the game out. Nothing was there.
I ran fast down the interstate again. At Bayou Sale and the
La.317 crossing, there was nothing but track.
This is from La.317, the road between Centerville and Burns Point.
Louisiana and Delta serves the carbon black industry at North Bend
down its own spur to the Intracoastal Canal.
Zooming west from 317, I could see the US 90 overpass
at the Bayou Sale sidetrack, where I would return.
I sat in the dugout for 45 minutes waiting for the westbound to
come along. Though I'd missed them crossing, I'd at least
get both series of pictures, a personal, first time triumph.
I lost concentration, looked up and it was going by. Though
I'd hit one run, this was certainly a wild swing infield pop up,
caught or uncaught, it was still an out. And, the way I felt,
it was my third out.
This game had gone into extra innings and nothing had come of it.
It would be a long ride home.
Arriving distraught and demoralized gains no sympathy.
Somehow, hearing, "I'm sorry you missed your train" would not
sound sincere, anyway.
The game was over. I stopped by the Baldwin landing on the
Teche to take my mind off "the incident". This place has
lost some of its beauty due to the parking lot being expanded
into the once gorgeous bamboo jungle or was there a bamboo jungle?
At least there was a bamboo jungle at one time. My sadness was
not for naught. Maybe I'll tell my fans about it. Maybe that
will garner some sympathy in enough excess to spread over
onto my missed train, infield foul, blown extra innings and rain out.
Oh, it began raining as I left Bayou Sale. Well, at one time it had rained.