Cubs Minor League Prospect Literally Knocks the Lights Out During Home Run Derby (Video)
Padres Livid After Anthony Rizzo Home Plate Collision Knocks Catcher Out of Game (Video)
A few years back Major League Baseball implemented new rules concerning home plate collisions in an effort to avoid horrific injuries like the one that knocked Giants superstar Buster Posey out for the entire 2011 season. As a result, we rarely see what old school fans call the most exciting play in baseball anymore. But we did see one in Chicago on Monday night.
In the bottom of the sixth, with the Padres holding a 2-1 lead, Cubs first baseman and all-around swell guy Anthony Rizzo barrelled into Padres catcher Austin Hedges trying to turn a pop fly into a game-tying sac fly.
Take a look:
Hedges was slow to get up after getting the out and eventually left the game with a bruised thigh.
After the game, Padres manager Andy Green was pretty pissed.
“I think you look at that play, and it’s a fairly egregious violation of the rule,” he told Padres beat reporter Dennis Lin. “I think it’s a cheap shot. I’m not saying [Rizzo's] a dirty player at all. No one is saying that. He clearly deviated from his path to hit our catcher and took our catcher out. The rule exists to protect him. It’s a disheartening play.”
For those wondering, MLB’s official rule (7.13) does not actually ban collisions. It stipulates that “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate), or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision.”
When you look at the replay again and pause at the moment of impact, it certainly seems like Green’s interpretation of the play is correct. Rizzo appears to deviate from his path to home plate ever so slightly so as to make contact with Hedges.
For his part, Rizzo defended the play by citing numerous conversations with umpires.
“I’ve talked to a lot of umpires about this rule,” he told CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney. “My understanding is: If they have the ball, it’s game on.”
Sounds like Andy Green should really be pissed at the umpires who gave Rizzo their liberal interpretation of the collision rule.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]