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Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Brawl Erupts, and the Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Catches Fire

BOSTON — If there was any doubt that the saltiness had returned to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, it evaporated late Wednesday night when a 97-miles-per-hour fastball from Boston reliever Joe Kelly found its intended target: Tyler Austin’s ribs.

Austin slammed his bat down, fired his helmet to the ground and charged after Kelly, and soon both benches and bullpens were empty.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:01 AM | 130 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: let's get ready to rumble, red sox, yankees

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   1. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:15 AM (#5652061)
Austin did seem to slide a bit.... hard. Kelly REALLY WANTED TO HIT HIM. Kelly is not a good pitcher, so the Sox won't miss him. He really looks like a dude in a Boston bar with that hair.


Phil Nevin got old and fat real fast.
   2. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:41 AM (#5652062)
Typical Boston thuggery.
   3. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:33 AM (#5652066)
Austin slammed his bat down, fired his helmet to the ground and charged after Kelly


Why didn't he hold on to those things and then throw them at Kelly when he got close enough? What did the ground do to deserve that?
   4. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 12, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5652069)
The slide caused the benches to clear, and understandably so. I'm not a proponent of retaliatory plunkings, but this is the least bad version. The person who committed the dirty slide got plunked, in a meaty part of the body. No headhunting or plunking someone else on the team. Still not good, but way less bad than hitting some guy who didn't have anything to do with the play and way way way less bad than throwing at someone's head.

Also, I'd like to see the rivalry return. The 2000s Yankees had some very classy players who I couldn't hate, (e.g. Bernie Williams, Mo) but that didn't stop me from hating the team.
   5. Lassus Posted: April 12, 2018 at 08:09 AM (#5652072)
The 2000s Yankees had some very classy players who I couldn't hate, (e.g. Bernie Williams, Mo)

Watching Bernie throw a baseball was insulting enough for me to hate him.
   6. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 12, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5652076)
So now sliding hard into second base is considered "dirty" or "malicious?" This is another overreaction by the Red Sox, just like last year with the Manny Machado incident. Apparently, Red Sox infielders feel that any kind of contact from a baserunner is out of bounds. I'm sorry, but that is an unrealistic expectation of how baseball is to be played, even with the new takeout rules being applied.

That is not to say that the Austin slide was not illegal, under the current definition. But there is a huge difference between something being illegal, and something being intentionally malicious.
   7. bunyon Posted: April 12, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5652078)
After reviewing the tape, I have concluded that both the Yankees and Red Sox should be suspended for the season.
   8. Rusty Priske Posted: April 12, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5652091)
This is all on Austin.

He made a dirty slide. Then HE is the one is who was the aggressor after the play. Of course he wore one (I don't endorse it, but you had to know it was coming). Yet he acts like he didn't start it. Go ahead and slam your bat, then go to 1st.


Of course, all of this would be eased up if the umpires did their jobs. That slide at 2nd should have been an automatic double play. Then, if Austin still got plunked, there should have been an immediate motion by the ump to throw the pitcher out of the game. If the umpires uphold the rules of the game, there is less incentive for the players to 'handle it themselves'.
   9. Adam Starblind Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5652121)
So now sliding hard into second base is considered "dirty" or "malicious?" This is another overreaction by the Red Sox, just like last year with the Manny Machado incident. Apparently, Red Sox infielders feel that any kind of contact from a baserunner is out of bounds.


Oh, baloney. Austin was already out, Holt was already off the bag a step to the third base side, and Austin hooked him for no reason. That's not "sliding hard" or just "any kind of contact."
   10. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5652123)
That is not to say that the Austin slide was not illegal, under the current definition. But there is a huge difference between something being illegal, and something being intentionally malicious.
No, you can't have it both ways. That slide is illegal *because* it's "dirty," in the sense of there being a high risk of injury to the MI. He's out by 5 feet but aims his spike directly at Holt's lower leg. If you want to argue "that's baseball," I disagree with you, but then you cede any reasonable right to argue against the subsequent HBP.
   11. FrankM Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5652138)
Does that count as a mound visit?
   12. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5652152)
The Boston catcher could have done a much better job getting between Austin and Kelly while Austin was raging. He had a ton of time to put himself in a position to tackle Austin at the very least.
   13. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5652159)
So now sliding hard into second base is considered "dirty" or "malicious?"
Sliding hard into second base is not considered dirty or malicious. Sliding into second base with the intent to spike the shortstop's leg is.

Did he intend to? Sure looks like it. If he's trying to be safe, his lead leg is going toward the base, not a foot and a half to the left of it. It's not like his foot hit the ground or the base and bounced off, like we see in so many slides (including the Machado one). And if he didn't intend to spike him, he wouldn't have been leading with his spikes; he would have just stuck his leg out far. The former without the latter is just a hard slide, something we see in plenty of legal* hard slides. If they're going for the base, their lead leg is going to the base, and if they lead with their spikes it's because it's the fastest way to the base. If they're not going for the base they try to get the leg to the side and point their toes so they're sweeping as far as possible without spiking the fielder or losing the base. This was neither.

Maybe it was inadvertent; maybe he's just an incompetent hard slider. But when I consider what intent would look like, and lack of intent would look like, a whole lot of this slide ends up in the former ledger. That doesn't make it intentional, but it doesn't look good. His lunkhead reaction afterward didn't help, either, but maybe he's just an incompetent hard-sliding lunkhead.

* In this case it wasn't. He wasn't able nor attempted to maintain contact with the base through the end of his slide, so it was a violation of the Utley rule.

Of course, all of this would be eased up if the umpires did their jobs. That slide at 2nd should have been an automatic double play.
Under the rules they would declare out the runner on which they were attempting to make a play. It's not clear Holt was attempting to make a play at first. I'm not sure they would have had a play at first on that one, but had he actually made a throw or at least held up at the last minute the batter might have been declared out. (Note, the rule doesn't say he has to be able to make a play on the batter.)
   14. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5652178)
This is an unfortunate side effect of replay. In the old days (like 3 years ago) Holt would come off the bag a bit early to make sure he wasn’t spiked. No one would give two shits because yeah he came off early but Gregorius does the same thing so who cares? Instead Holt holds the bag too long, Austin’s foot comes up high and spikes Holt and we are off and running.
   15. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 12, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5652206)

This is an unfortunate side effect of replay. In the old days (like 3 years ago) Holt would come off the bag a bit early to make sure he wasn’t spiked. No one would give two shits because yeah he came off early but Gregorius does the same thing so who cares? Instead Holt holds the bag too long, Austin’s foot comes up high and spikes Holt and we are off and running.


Not sure how you can blame this on replay, Holt's leg was not over the bag when Austin slid. Holt didn't need to come off early to get out of the way, he WAS out of the way, Austin just intentionally slid to the left of the bag.
   16. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5652270)
Holt didn't need to come off early to get out of the way, he WAS out of the way, Austin just intentionally slid to the left of the bag.
To be precise (and somewhat fair to Austin) he slid directly to the bag. His whole torso went directly over and past the bag. He extended his leading leg to the left.
   17. filihok Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5652272)
Not sure how you can blame this on replay,

Step 1 - hate replay
Step 2 - live in the current political climate
Step 3 - ???
Step 4 - relate the thing that happened to the thing you hate
   18. bunyon Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5652274)
It seems to me either both are wrong or both okay. If you like old school "hard slide" tactics at second, well, the time honored solution to a spiking on the bases is a fastball in the ribs, so we're all square there.

If you don't like old school style play and, so, don't like the fastball at the ribs, then you can't like the slide.

Anyone arguing for one side being better than the other is a fan. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
   19. dlf Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5652275)
Of course, all of this would be eased up if the umpires did their jobs. That slide at 2nd should have been an automatic double play.


Listening to the Braves game the other day in a similar situation with a slide off the bag, the announcers said that if the second baseman doesn't attempt the throw, the Ump can't call the double play. I'm not sure if that is right, but it seems logical.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5652280)
To be precise (and somewhat fair to Austin) he slid directly to the bag. His whole torso went directly over and past the bag. He extended his leading leg to the left.
Yeah, that's not sliding directly to the bag.
   21. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5652289)
Listening to the Braves game the other day in a similar situation with a slide off the bag, the announcers said that if the second baseman doesn't attempt the throw, the Ump can't call the double play. I'm not sure if that is right, but it seems logical.

It is right, by the rules:
If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.
Holt did not attempt to make a play on anyone. At most he transferred the ball to his throwing hand and looked toward first, but that's not an attempt. FWIW Holt said after the game he figured he had no shot at a play at first, so he was just trying to get the play at second.
   22. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5652296)
The slide wasn't really all that egregious, the pitch should have been a foot lower, and everybody should have stayed in the dugouts both times.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5652304)
The slide wasn't really all that egregious, the pitch should have been a foot lower, and everybody should have stayed in the dugouts both times.

Basically agree to this. The one problem was that Kelly threw at Austin twice. Typically you only get one bit at the apple. If Kelly was going to throw at him (which is normal) he should have hit him in the thigh/butt with the first pitch.
   24. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5652305)
Yeah, that's not sliding directly to the bag.
For the purpose of the rule I think it is. The conditions for a "bona fide slide" (IOW the kind of slide that doesn't constitute interference) are:

(1) The runner begins his slide before reaching the base. He did this.

(2) The runner is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot. He did this, albeit not with that leg. His right leg and right hand reached the base.

(3) The runner is able and attempts to remain on the base after completion of the slide. He was neither able nor attempted to. We can cut him some slack on "attempts to" because he was already called out, but he entirely overslid the base. Anyway, this has nothing to do with whether he was going directly to the base, which was your point.

(4) The runner slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder. He was running toward the base, and his body ended up going directly over the base. I can't see an argument that he changed his pathway here.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5652307)

It seems to me either both are wrong or both okay. If you like old school "hard slide" tactics at second, well, the time honored solution to a spiking on the bases is a fastball in the ribs, so we're all square there.

If you don't like old school style play and, so, don't like the fastball at the ribs, then you can't like the slide.

Anyone arguing for one side being better than the other is a fan. Nothing wrong with that, of course.


If you think the HBP was a justified retaliation for the slide, then you can still find fault with charging the mound afterwards.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5652310)
I mean, what if he tried to punch the infielder in the nuts as he was making an otherwise legal slide?
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5652320)
I mean, what if he tried to punch the infielder in the nuts as he was making an otherwise legal slide?


What if he pulled a gun and shot the second baseman while making an otherwise legal slide?

Fact is, Austin didn't try to punch anybody until a couple of innings later. Is "spikes high" now defined as 16 inches off the ground?
   28. Jess Franco Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5652322)
   29. PreservedFish Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5652331)

What if he pulled a gun and shot the second baseman while making an otherwise legal slide?


Good question! I'd grant the double play but I'm open to arguments to the contrary. Also, wouldn't you save that move for the playoffs?
   30. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5652348)
What if he pulled a gun and shot the second baseman while making an otherwise legal slide?
It takes a good defender with a gun to stop a bad baserunner with a gun.
   31. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5652349)
If Kelly was going to throw at him (which is normal) he should have hit him in the thigh/butt with the first pitch.


He is not an accurate pitcher. Maybe he did try to hit him there! :)

(Joe Kelly is bad.)
   32. bunyon Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5652353)
Fact is, Austin didn't try to punch anybody until a couple of innings later. Is "spikes high" now defined as 16 inches off the ground?

Whatever else it might have been, that was a pretty textbook example of "spikes high" and, indeed, he landed his spikes solidly on the defender's leg. If he wasn't trying to get him with the spikes, he should have immediately apologized (I have seen this when a runner inadvertently catches a guy with his spikes). Spiking fielders has been going on a a long, long time both intentionally and not. That it doesn't often happen is testament to it being considered improper and guys being good athletes.

Like I say, if Austin wasn't trying to get him with the spikes, he certainly knew he had. The proper response is, "Hey, sorry." If that is Austin's response, nothing else happens.

And, of course, Austin should not have charged the mound.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5652354)
(2) The runner is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot.
If we want the rule to actually require a direct slide to the bag, it should read "lead" hand or foot. I don't dispute that some indirect slides can still comply with the rule, but sliding so that you can touch the bag with your back leg and hand while splaying your lead leg out to take out the fielder is not sliding directly to the bag.

(4) The runner slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
Again, I would argue that splaying a leg out could be considered changing his pathway, and it's certainly for the purpose of initiating contact. It's changing the pathway of a significant part of his body.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5652357)
I mean, what if he tried to punch the infielder in the nuts as he was making an otherwise legal slide?

TV ratings would go up?
   35. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5652362)
Gary Sanchez is sad he doesn't get to face David Price again today.

Also, wow the Sox fans on my facebook feed were gloating in full force after the first game as if the entire season was over. Can we finish April?

(Not that the Yanks don't have problems, but... uh... let us not with the chicken-counting)
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5652370)
If one may be permitted to use this thread to discuss other aspects of the game - does this make any sense?
Despite leaving his start after one inning Wednesday night because of numbness in his left hand, Boston Red Sox ace David Price believes he avoided serious injury. Price, who gave up four first-inning runs in a brawl-filled 10-7 loss to the New York Yankees, said he expects to play catch Thursday with the hope of making his next start.

"My hand never really warmed up," Price said. "My arm felt fine. My arm felt really good. I had no clue where [the ball] was going."

Price, off to the best start of his career, missed most of last season with elbow and forearm injuries. Neither he nor Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes this latest issue is related. At this point, Price isn't scheduled for an MRI or any additional testing.

So, a pitcher still owed ~ $150M, with injury issues last year, pitches 1 ineffective inning before leaving the game, and says his hand felt numb, but since he feels OK when he's not pitching, no medical exam or MRI? It's like the old joke: Patient: "Doc, it hurts when I do this." Doctor: "Don't do that."

Maybe they thought a MRI exam counts as a mound visit?
   37. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5652392)
If we want the rule to actually require a direct slide to the bag, it should read "lead" hand or foot. I don't dispute that some indirect slides can still comply with the rule, but sliding so that you can touch the bag with your back leg and hand while splaying your lead leg out to take out the fielder is not sliding directly to the bag.


Yeah, the Utley rule is rather lengthy and quite specific without ever really getting to the point. It should just say "slide directly to the base" and leave it at that.

Also interesting, although maybe not surprising, that there's nothing in there about high spikes. The intent may have been to reduce injury risk, but it's written as an interference rule. It's certainly possible for a play to be dirty without constituting interference.
   38. jmurph Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5652394)
Clapper I swear to god your ongoing Red Sox concern trolling needs its own perma-thread. It's a work of art.
   39. Lassus Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5652397)
(Not that the Yanks don't have problems, but... uh... let us not with the chicken-counting)

I'll be happy to contend there's a possibility you'll get past the Angels in order to be turned to dust and ash in the fire of the Mets' wake.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5652398)
Clapper I swear to god your ongoing Red Sox concern trolling needs its own perma-thread. It's a work of art.
This positive report about an injury should be taken as a negative report, of course!
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5652401)
Clapper I swear to god your ongoing Red Sox concern trolling needs its own perma-thread. It's a work of art.

If you don't think it's worth discussing, or defending, don't discuss it or defend it. Seems a bit unusual, so I don't see why anyone would think the topic is verboten.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5652405)
Who said it was verboten? He was complimenting your artistry!
   43. jmurph Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5652410)
If you don't think it's worth discussing, or defending, don't discuss it or defend it. Seems a bit unusual, so I don't see why anyone would think the topic is verboten.

Of course! It's just that I'm also going to occasionally gently mock your deeply expressed concern about every little blip that arises.
   44. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5652412)
If he wasn't trying to get him with the spikes, he should have immediately apologized
He was very, very obviously trying to take out Holt's plant leg with his lead leg. And if Holt had been just a bit slower getting that leg off the ground he could have easily had a broken ankle.
   45. Blastin Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5652413)
I'll be happy to contend there's a possibility you'll get past the Angels in order to be turned to dust and ash in the fire of the Mets' wake.


Mets fans thinking they will play the season at .900 has been a fun part of April too.
   46. Rusty Priske Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5652420)
Anyone who says that Austin was not trying to take Holt out remember this: Jose Bautista got punched in the face for doing WAY less than what Austin did.

My current opinion is that Austin is a punk and the rest of the situation unfolded accordingly.

```````````````````````````````
This is not about THIS play, because I didn't see enough of it to know for sure... but I REALLY don't like the rule that the defender has to be throwing to 1st. It should just be an automatic double play - punishment for breaking the rules.

My problem is that if the defender feels themselves getting taken out, they shouldn't be throwing the ball, because the chance of throwing at away is too high. Under this rule they should throw the ball and hope they get the call. If they DON'T (because umpires are fallible), they are risking a lot by throwing it.

The end result is that you once again give an advantage to the player who is playing dirty.
   47. Lassus Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5652426)
Mets fans thinking they will play the season at .900 has been a fun part of April too.

Oh, I'm not thinking that at all.

I mean, 135 - 27 is barely .830 ball.
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5652428)
Jose Bautista got punched in the face for doing WAY less than what Austin did.
Well, Jose Bautista got punched in the face more for the cumulative effects of being Jose Bautista.
   49. Jess Franco Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5652448)
Austin did spike Holt, and Holt was a lot cooler about the situation afterwards, even suggesting he sbouldn't have said anything.

Ball's in Yankees court. I'd call it even and let it go for now.
   50. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5652457)
I have a number of thoughts on this. As a preface I will note that I hate both the Yankees and the Red Sox.

1. I didn't really have a problem with Austin's slide. it looked like an aggressive double-play breakup slide, but not with any dirty intent. This wasn't even in the same category as Utley or some of the others we've seen that prompted the new rule.

2. Kind of a corollary to number one, but I don't really see the "spikes up" thing. Sure, he's sliding with his lead foot out which means that his cleats are naturally going to be pointed that way. It didn't look like he lifted his leg up to an extent that I thought it was dangerous or dirty, i.e. any inclination in his leg could have just been part of his slide. I obviously have no idea what Austin was thinking; it's possible he had intent to do some damage, but it didn't LOOK like it to me.

3. I don't think it's hypocritical to think that Austin's slide (or slides of that type - meant to break up a double play but not to hurt anyone**) is okay but intentionally hitting a batter is not. They're two fundamentally different things. One is done to help your team. You are trying to use a legal means to disrupt a throw that would potentially get your teammate out. Hitting a batter is intentionally harmful (not accidentally so) and the result is bad for your own team. Those two things are not in the same category of "it's just baseball."

4. If the majority of people feel that Austin's slide needs to be out of the game, then the rules need to be reworded so that on a force play a runner's lead limb needs to be the first thing to touch the base. Obviously on a tag play you might hook slide or contort in a different way to avoid a tag. But on a force play, if the only goal is to be at the base as quickly as possible, the rule needs to read that the lead limb needs to make contact with the base first. I don't know that it will completely eradicate break-up slides, but it will go a little further than the current rule.

** Yes, I realize those plays have potential to cause injury, but so do a lot of legal plays in baseball.
   51. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5652467)
You're such a pessimist, Lassus.
   52. Rusty Priske Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5652468)
Austin's slide WAS against the current rule. No change needed. He slid past the bag.

Having said that, I don't understand how anyone can look at that slide and say he wasn't trying to injure Holt. There is zero reason to come in with his foot raised like that. He spiked him. That is Ty Cobb style ball.
   53. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5652469)
If we want the rule to actually require a direct slide to the bag, it should read "lead" hand or foot. I don't dispute that some indirect slides can still comply with the rule, but sliding so that you can touch the bag with your back leg and hand while splaying your lead leg out to take out the fielder is not sliding directly to the bag.
The intent of that part of the rule was to take away the egregious cases where a runner can't even make contact with the base because he's sliding at a fielder who has already moved away from the base. They're not actually trying to take away all possibilities of disrupting the fielder, nor even all cases where they make contact. Nor should they.

Again, I would argue that splaying a leg out could be considered changing his pathway, and it's certainly for the purpose of initiating contact. It's changing the pathway of a significant part of his body.
It's significant only in the sense that he'd miss it if it were gone. In terms of what went toward the base, it's insignificant. I mean, really, his foot being a foot and a half away from the base, and the rest of his body going directly over the base, when up to then he had been running directly toward the base... that's not a change of pathway.

This is not about THIS play, because I didn't see enough of it to know for sure... but I REALLY don't like the rule that the defender has to be throwing to 1st.
On this play Holt could have made a throwing motion but not let go of the ball, and the umpire probably would have considered it as an attempt to convert the double play that was thwarted by the interference. For that matter, Holt could have been knocked on his ass and not had a chance to attempt a throw, and the ump likely would have been assumed the attempt. Generalizing, I don't think he has to literally throw the ball for an umpire to judge that he would have thrown the ball if not for the interference.

I don't want a dirty slide to benefit the slider's team. I also don't want middle infielders flopping to get two outs on "interference" when they otherwise would have gotten just one. Forcing a penalty would lead to that, as it has in pretty much every sport where penalties are legislated to that degree.
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5652470)
4. If the majority of people feel that Austin's slide needs to be out of the game, then the rules need to be reworded so that on a force play a runner's lead limb needs to be the first thing to touch the base. Obviously on a tag play you might hook slide or contort in a different way to avoid a tag. But on a force play, if the only goal is to be at the base as quickly as possible, the rule needs to read that the lead limb needs to make contact with the base first.
Exactly this.
   55. Dale Sams Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5652472)
I liked the looks on Judge and Stantons faces...."These guys are tiny. I'll kill them if I hit them."
   56. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5652475)
Austin's slide WAS against the current rule. No change needed. He slid past the bag.

Having said that, I don't understand how anyone can look at that slide and say he wasn't trying to injure Holt. There is zero reason to come in with his foot raised like that. He spiked him. That is Ty Cobb style ball.


That's how a foot-first slide works - the bottom of your foot is going to be leading. His foot didn't come up until he was well past Holt. There was no intentional spiking to injure there that I saw. At least not where I could say that he definitely was trying to hurt someone. It was a slide intended to break up a double play. Anyone reading more into it than that is look for malicious intent where there's no way to know.

I do agree that he violated provision three of the slide rule. He was clearly ABLE to remain in contact with the base, but he didn't attempt to. You could argue that was because he knew he was out, but the rule's language clearly states that he needs to attempt to maintain contact. So you could call that interference. I don't know what the rule is for making it an automatic double play, though, specifically in regards to whether Holt needed to attempt a throw to first.
   57. bunyon Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5652482)
What do you mean his foot didn’t come up until he was past Holt? His foot, spikes first, HIT Holt. Well away from the base.

   58. Chip Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:18 PM (#5652490)
Price was throwing in the outfield in the warm sunshine today, showing no after-effects of whatever this problem was.
   59. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5652495)
What do you mean his foot didn’t come up until he was past Holt? His foot, spikes first, HIT Holt. Well away from the base.


When you slide foot-first, that's how your spikes will point. It's like no one has seen a foot-first slide before. This is exactly what a slide looks like when you're breaking up a double play. Had his foot been raised significantly off the ground prior to making contact with Holt, then I could see more of an "intent to injure" argument. As it is, he simply did a foot-first slide to the left of the base. He wasn't "well away" from the base, since he could easily reach it, but he was definitely sliding to make Holt move.

Are people trying to say that ALL slides intended to break-up a double play are, by definition, intents to injure? I vehemently disagree with that. I think they're more likely to cause injury and so can be considered more reckless, which is why MLB has added some legislation there. But I have slid hard into a base in both baseball and softball in an attempt to make the fielder's play more difficult and I can tell you truthfully that I never wanted anyone to get hurt.

I'm not saying Austin didn't want to hurt Holt. I have no idea. Maybe he did. I'm just saying I don't see video evidence to support the point that he was, without question, intending to physically harm Holt.
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5652496)
Price was throwing in the outfield in the warm sunshine today, showing no after-effects of whatever this problem was.
More bad news for the Sox!
   61. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5652515)
That's how a foot-first slide works - the bottom of your foot is going to be leading. His foot didn't come up until he was well past Holt.
As bunyon said, this is just wrong.

And yes, if you are sliding feet-first, obviously your foot is going to be leading -- and just as obviously, *if* you are actually sliding with the primary intent to try to reach the base, that lead foot isn't going to make contact with the pivot man's plant leg 15-18 inches wide of the base (freeze at :20 on this link).

There was no intentional spiking to injure there that I saw.
I won't go so far as saying Austin was definitely trying to *injure* Holt. But he was abso-frickin-lutely deliberately trying to "take out" Holt's leg, which carries a huge risk of injury and is the reason they are trying to make slides like that illegal.
   62. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5652518)
So now sliding hard into second base is considered "dirty" or "malicious?" This is another overreaction by the Red Sox, just like last year with the Manny Machado incident. Apparently, Red Sox infielders feel that any kind of contact from a baserunner is out of bounds. I'm sorry, but that is an unrealistic expectation of how baseball is to be played, even with the new takeout rules being applied.

That is not to say that the Austin slide was not illegal, under the current definition. But there is a huge difference between something being illegal, and something being intentionally malicious.


And that's exactly the distinction that Remy and his partner were making on the NESN feed on the game. They're a lot more intelligent than a lot of Red Sox fans.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The slide wasn't really all that egregious, the pitch should have been a foot lower, and everybody should have stayed in the dugouts both times.

This. But Kelly's a ####### redass, so what could you expect?
   63. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5652529)
Are people trying to say that ALL slides intended to break-up a double play are, by definition, intents to injure? I vehemently disagree with that. I think they're more likely to cause injury and so can be considered more reckless, which is why MLB has added some legislation there.
I think my point on that is something to the effect of: runners don't have some implicit, immutable "right" to try to break up a double play, especially by deliberately aiming part of their body at the fielder wide of the base.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5652537)
runners don't have some implicit, immutable "right" to try to break up a double play, especially by deliberately aiming part of their body at the fielder wide of the base


Well like it or not, according to the current rules of Major League Baseball, runners actually have an EXPLICIT right to try to break up a double play, including by deliberately aiming part of their body at the fielder wide of the base, so long as they aim another part of their body at the base. Personally, I was quite surprised that the Utley play didn't lead to a much more restrictive rule, but them's the facts.

He is not an accurate pitcher. Maybe he did try to hit him there! :)


Pitchers who lack the necessary control to mete out the appropriate penalty should not be the ones enforcing the unwritten rules. ;)
   65. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5652541)
As bunyon said, this is just wrong.

And yes, if you are sliding feet-first, obviously your foot is going to be leading -- and just as obviously, *if* you are actually sliding with the primary intent to try to reach the base, that lead foot isn't going to make contact with the pivot man's plant leg 15-18 inches wide of the base (freeze at :20 on this link).


His foot was on the ground or so close to it as to make no difference when it made contact with Holt. It's a slide intended to break up a double play, not necessarily to injure. The only thing he did wrong, in regard to the bona fide slide rules, was not attempt to remain in contact with the base, and he easily could have done that by lying back and reaching his hand out. If you think the bona fide slide rules don't do far enough since this play could technically still be legal, I won't argue with you. I lean toward thinking the rules they have now are sufficient. You'd have to change the language as I mentioned above to force the lead limb to come in contact with the base if you want to completely remove this slide.

Guys have been doing take-out slides probably since shortly after baseball began. I would reckon that very few of those slides, reckless as you may think them, were intentionally malicious or harmful. Their purpose was to disrupt a fielder and allow their teammate to reach base safely. That's what I see here.

If you want to argue that Austin's slide was illegal, I think you're right by the bona fide slide rules. If you want to argue that slide rules need to be even stricter to force guys into direct contact with the base before anything else, okay. Again, I'm not sure I completely agree, but I get the argument. If you want to argue that Austin intentionally tried to hurt Holt and/or that he deserved to get hit with a pitch, I'm not with you. Basically, I don't think Austin earned much, if any, of the ire that's been directed at him as a result of the slide.
   66. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5652543)
The Yankees just need to resurrect Jackie Robinson. He'd know how to deal with Kelly in a way that Kelly wouldn't forget. A strategically placed bunt down the first place line can be a powerful deterrent to future headhunting.
   67. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5652545)
Well like it or not, according to the current rules of Major League Baseball, runners actually have an EXPLICIT right to try to break up a double play, including by deliberately aiming part of their body at the fielder wide of the base, so long as they aim another part of their body at the base. Personally, I was quite surprised that the Utley play didn't lead to a much more restrictive rule, but them's the facts.


Yep, I agree with this. Austin didn't adhere to one part of those rules, but he easily could have while still making contact in the same way with Holt. Although on the last part of your comment, I think MLB was okay with double play break-ups existing, but thought the new rule would do enough to curtail them that it would be far less of an issue. Obviously some disagree.
   68. jmurph Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5652550)
Well like it or not, according to the current rules of Major League Baseball, runners actually have an EXPLICIT right to try to break up a double play, including by deliberately aiming part of their body at the fielder wide of the base, so long as they aim another part of their body at the base. Personally, I was quite surprised that the Utley play didn't lead to a much more restrictive rule, but them's the facts.

I think the rule change is bigger than that, I just think it hasn't fully been enforced. There's a clear emphasis on the runner now being required to engage in a "bona fide slide" and "attempt to reach and remain on the base." They clearly tried to eliminate sliding all the way through the bag, changing direction at the last instant, making contact with the express purpose of breaking up the play, etc. The full text from the announcement:

Slides
Under new Rule 6.01(j), which has been added to the existing Rule 6.01 on "Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions," slides on potential double plays will require runners to make a bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base. Runners may still initiate contact with the fielder as a consequence of an otherwise permissible slide. A runner will be specifically prohibited from changing his pathway to the base or utilizing a "roll block" for the purpose of initiating contact with the fielder. Potential violations of Rule 6.01(j) will be reviewable using instant replay. Also reviewable will be "neighborhood play" calls, which previously were exempted from replay review. Rule 6.01(j) reads as follows:

Rule 6.01(i) -- Sliding to Bases on Double Play Attempts
If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01. A "bona fide slide" for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:

(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
(2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;
(3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and
(4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

A runner who engages in a "bona fide slide" shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide. In addition, interference shall not be called where a runner's contact with the fielder was caused by the fielder being positioned in (or moving into) the runner's legal pathway to the base.

Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a "bona fide slide" if a runner engages in a "roll block," or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder's knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.

If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.
   69. JAHV Posted: April 12, 2018 at 05:57 PM (#5652577)
That does make it seem more explicit about banning all break-up slides, but the intro to the provisions on what constitutes a "bona fide slide" talks about intent whereas the sentence after the provision makes it clear that since intent can't be determined, those four criteria are all that matters.

Austin's slide was clearly intended to break up the double play, and that would have been true even if he'd leaned back and reached his arm out to contact the bag. So by the spirit of the rule (and the letter, in this case), it was illegal. I maintain that it wasn't necessarily dirty or malicious, but it definitely violated that rule. I just wonder if they're going to add stricter guidelines on what constitutes a bona fide slide in order to avoid a situation like last night's.
   70. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5652583)
The slide wasn't dirty because it was out of the baseline or interference. It was dirty because he clearly and intentionally came in spikes high, aiming those spikes at the meaty part of the 2B's calf. That is the most clear and obvious "spikes high" bullshit you'll see this side of bringing Ty Cobb back from the dead.

Otherwise, I really hate baseball fights. The pitcher had like six near perfect striking opportunities on Austin as he stumbled idiotically toward the mound. Put a face high push kick in his face when he barrels down and let him know how those spikes feel.
   71. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5652587)
Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a "bona fide slide" if a runner engages in a "roll block," or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder's knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.


Austin didn't do any of that. You can argue that he intentionally elevated or kicked his leg, but it was not above Holt's knee. Given the specificity of the language, one has to conclude that elevating a leg to a lesser height or kicking a leg horizontally rather than vertically is not banned. Same apparently would apply to sliding through the bag, as long as the runner can still reach back for it. Like I said, I personally would have written a more restrictive rule, but MLB chose not to for whatever reason.
   72. winnipegwhip Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5652610)
I never thought I would see the day but it seems MLB rules are now similar to English common law where precedent sets the standards when discussing right and wrong.

Of course any new rules which Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa are involved with will create more trouble than before.
   73. . . . . . . Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5652612)
Basically, I don't think Austin earned much, if any, of the ire that's been directed at him as a result of the slide.


I don't think Austin has earned ire from anyone other than a bunch of shitty Boston fans who are still salty from losing the super bowl and stuck in their house during a late mud season.
   74. ptodd Posted: April 12, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5652617)
1. There was no DP to break up. It was a a force out on a bunt. Everyone knew there was no shot at getting the runner at 1st

2. Austin kicked out to his left with cleats up and contacted Holts shin. Thats always been a dirty play by players regardless of what the rules may say

3. In violation of the rules Austin slid late enough to slide past the bags

4. Austin probably deserves another plunking. Should have taken his punishment like a man knowing he was deserving it rather than starting a fight
   75. Howie Menckel Posted: April 12, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5652633)
HRamirez hit on the hand/wrist in the first inning (not intentional) and leaves the game - and the YANKEES SUCK! chants commence at Fenway.
   76. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5652782)
They're not actually trying to take away all possibilities of disrupting the fielder, nor even all cases where they make contact. Nor should they.


Why not?

Generally speaking, baseball doesn't allow offensive players to interfere with defenders during the course of play. It's more than a little bizarre that, in this instance, it allows a player who has already been retired to intentionally disrupt the efforts of the fielder.

And it's only this instance. If Dee Gordon is thrown out trying to steal second on a first-and third situation, he doesn't get to keep Andrelton Simmons in a bear hug to allow Kyle Seager to score. In Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, Salvy Perez wasn't allowed to punch Lucas Duda in the nuts when he ran by him at first. It's only here where players who have already been put out are encouraged to mess with a fielder.

A player who has been retired should be essentially invisible the moment that happens. Now, obviously that's impossible, and some disruption is inevitable when the play is close. But encouraging players who were out by significant margins to get to continue on and try to disrupt the defensive player has never made any sense.
   77. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:32 PM (#5652832)
It's only here where players who have already been put out are encouraged to mess with a fielder.

Austin wasn't already out when he committed to his slide, and that's the case on most of the close plays. The MLB Network had a good analysis after yesterday's game, showing that from Austin's perspective it looked like Holt was in a double play pivot stance when he committed to his slide, but Holt ended up taking the throw more like a first baseman on a force out, and then lingered on the bag, perhaps to ensure he got the call.
   78. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 12, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5652835)
If Dee Gordon is thrown out trying to steal second on a first-and third situation, he doesn't get to keep Andrelton Simmons in a bear hug to allow Kyle Seager to score.


Of course, Gordon can't do that to keep Simmons from turning the 4-6-3 either. And if Gordon's slide on the steal happens to cause Simmons to lose his balance and keeps him from making a throw to get Seager, well, the chances of interference being called are pretty miniscule.

I agree that it's rather bizarre that baseball has always had essentially zero tolerance for interference with fielders except for at second base on double plays, but the reductio ad absurdum doesn't really help your argument.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: April 12, 2018 at 11:09 PM (#5652859)
Austin wasn't already out when he committed to his slide, and that's the case on most of the close plays.


So what? There's no excuse to let a player who has already been put out to try to interfere with a defender making a play. Austin was trying to do just that. His slide at Holt was for one reason only.

There's also no excuse for allowing a player who hasn't been put out to do so. Slide at the bag. Period. You shouldn't get to try to break #### up at all. It's completely inconsistent with everywhere else on the diamond.

Of course, Gordon can't do that to keep Simmons from turning the 4-6-3 either. And if Gordon's slide on the steal happens to cause Simmons to lose his balance and keeps him from making a throw to get Seager, well, the chances of interference being called are pretty miniscule.


The point in all these instances is that only on this one play do we allow a retired offensive player to intentionally interfere with a defender. In some cases, we don't allow an unretired player to do so, And, in some cases, we still punish runners/fielders even in the event of inadvertent contact. The true absurdity is the takeout slide.
   80. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5652862)
A player who has been retired should be essentially invisible the moment that happens.
He should immediately turn toward the dugout and sprint off the field in tears. RBI Baseball had it right.
   81. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 12, 2018 at 11:23 PM (#5652865)
The MLB Network had a good analysis after yesterday's game, showing that from Austin's perspective it looked like Holt was in a double play pivot stance when he committed to his slide, but Holt ended up taking the throw more like a first baseman on a force out, and then lingered on the bag, perhaps to ensure he got the call.

As I noted above in #62, Remy and the other NESN announcer noted the distinction between making an illegal slide and trying to hurt the fielder. And it's extremely unlikely that Cora had anything to do with Kelly's gutless idea of retaliation.

And I love those "Joe Kelly Fight Club" shirts they were wearing tonight in Fenway. Kelly would've had about as much chance in an actual fight with Tyler Austin as Don Zimmer would've had against Pedro.
   82. Baldrick Posted: April 12, 2018 at 11:23 PM (#5652866)
Thoughts:
1. It's a dangerous slide, and players really shouldn't be encouraged to do it.
2. By the letter of the law, clearly an illegal slide. It was not a slide into the base, but a slide into the player. By historical precedent, you're pretty likely to get away with it, which is kind of an excuse, but not a very good one.
3. Throwing at players is dumb dumb dumb, and players shouldn't do that either.
4. Fights are even dumber and players shouldn't start or participate in them.

In conclusion, everyone is terrible and I feel bad for liking a sport played by such macho doofuses.
   83. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 13, 2018 at 12:38 AM (#5652891)
3. Throwing at players is dumb dumb dumb, and players shouldn't do that either.


Okay, but if you (the league office) don't eject and suspend players for trying to injure opponents with their slides, you leave the injured opponents' teammates with only "do nothing and let him get away with it" or "retaliate" as options.
   84. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 13, 2018 at 12:57 AM (#5652896)
Okay, but if you (the league office) don't eject and suspend players for trying to injure opponents with their slides, you leave the injured opponents' teammates with only "do nothing and let him get away with it" or "retaliate" as options.

Well, there could be a retaliatory slide rather than a 97 MPH retaliatory fastball.
   85. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 13, 2018 at 01:01 AM (#5652897)
Not if the offender plays right field. Retaliating by trying to destroy the knee of the second baseman who had nothing to do with it is just as stupid as retaliating by directing fastballs at the ribs of the other team's star.
   86. Chip Posted: April 13, 2018 at 04:05 AM (#5652906)
Andy and Clapper’s exercise in situational ethics is a wonder to behold, but par for the course.

But at least we know who Clapper will be making excuses for this weekend. The bigger challenge is for his partner, what with both the O’s and Yanks under .500 two weeks in. Concurrent mediocrity makes it so hard to choose who to front run with.
   87. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 13, 2018 at 06:49 AM (#5652908)
Andy and Clapper’s exercise in situational ethics is a wonder to behold, but par for the course.

Why don't you ask the NESN team that was announcing that game to see what their take on the incident was? Or would that bring about too big a disconnect?

Christ, Red Sox fans were whining about Manny Machado's slide into Pedroia to the point where Pedroia himself was clearly embarrassed by their reaction. But that's what any set of My Team Right Or Wrong fans usually do, and I'm including that particular faction of Yankees fans in that category. With that sort of fan, it's React First and Think Second Never

But at least we know who Clapper will be making excuses for this weekend. The bigger challenge is for his partner, what with both the O’s and Yanks under .500 two weeks in. Concurrent mediocrity makes it so hard to choose who to front run with.

The only time I have any sort of rooting dilemma is when they're playing each other. It's funny how some people think that nobody else in the world likes more than one team.
   88. Baldrick Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5652950)
Okay, but if you (the league office) don't eject and suspend players for trying to injure opponents with their slides, you leave the injured opponents' teammates with only "do nothing and let him get away with it" or "retaliate" as options.

Obviously I agree (see points 1 and 2) with your premise here, but given the limited options, they should absolutely choose "do nothing and let him get away with it."
   89. jmurph Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5652957)
Austin didn't do any of that. You can argue that he intentionally elevated or kicked his leg, but it was not above Holt's knee. Given the specificity of the language, one has to conclude that elevating a leg to a lesser height or kicking a leg horizontally rather than vertically is not banned. Same apparently would apply to sliding through the bag, as long as the runner can still reach back for it. Like I said, I personally would have written a more restrictive rule, but MLB chose not to for whatever reason.

It wasn't a "bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base," obviously, and takeout slides never are. These slides have been outlawed by MLB with the rule change, it's just not being enforced consistently.
   90. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5652965)
Hey jmurph, did you see how the Padres-Astros game ended last week?
   91. jmurph Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5652968)
I don't think so...?
   92. jmurph Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5652972)
Just looked it up- amazing! Pitchers MUST NEVER TOUCH A BALL IN PLAY EVER.
   93. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5652984)
Hey, he pointed. What more can you asl of him?
   94. Baldrick Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5652988)
I was at that Astros game. It was, easily, the silliest ending to a game I've ever attended.

My friend was still baffled about what even happened as we were walking out. Like, he legitimately couldn't believe that it had actually happened that way, evidence of his eyes notwithstanding.
   95. jmurph Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5652997)
I'm forgetting the loyalties in the thread we had about this a year or so ago, but I think I remember most posters here being fully supportive of the tradition of pitchers not behaving like professional athletes once the ball is in play. It was quite funny.
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5653014)
Hey jmurph, did you see how the Padres-Astros game ended last week?

Here's the play for anyone else who might be interested. You have to see it to believe it.
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5653042)
You and I were the most vocal opponent of the practice. Sadly, that channel entry is closed for comment.

But this play highlights the absolute folly of the absolute adherence to the policy. Hosmer had to run 100 feet to try to catch a ball 30 feet from the pitcer.
   98. bunyon Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5653048)
As a general rule, I'm onboard with the P not making those plays. Even with ideal mechanics, a pitcher doesn't end up nearly as ready to field as the fielders. The P is working on making a pitch. The transition is tough. Also, they don't start on level ground so quick movements to the ball are harder.

With all that said, it's a general guide: if another fielder can get to the ball, they should. However, balls that would land on the mound are easier for the pitcher to catch than anyone else. And, sometimes, they clearly have the better angle. As in the ball in Houston.

It's another example of people taking a good idea and becoming dogmatic about it.


Also, no one has ever tried to spike a fielder before if what Austin did wasn't trying to spike Holt.
   99. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5653067)
I think they should simply fit in the hierarchy. Catch the pop-up if it’s hit at or near them. Defer if called off by one of the other infielders.
   100. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 13, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5653104)
Austin clearly spiked Holt. Ty Cobb style.

Then Holt looked back and was like "dafuq?" and Austin jumped up and started jawing with him. Austin is the one who escalated the situation, causing the benches to clear. He deserved a plunking.

The Yankees and their fans are total #######, per usual.

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