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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jon Lester calls slide rule ‘BS,’ says game being played by ‘pansies’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Alternative plan: bubble wrap.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, rules of the game

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:16 AM (#5455055)
Lol
   2. Jack Keefe Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5455061)
Ozzie Guillen all ways told us boys you must not say Pansy you must say Viola tricolor var. hortensis.
   3. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5455064)
I generally subscribe to the pro-fielder side of this fight. But I have a hard time seeing what was dangerous about Happ's slide there.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5455065)
Jon Lester calls slide rule BS game being played by ‘pansies’?

A guy who can't throw a baseball to first base should be careful mocking physicists about the tools of their trade.
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5455066)
Happ couldn't maintain possession of the bag after his slide. It was a clear-cut violation of the Utley rule.

   6. Captain Supporter Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5455070)
The rule is ridiculous. Oversliding a base when running at full speed is difficult to avoid and should not be illegal. As long as you slide through the base and don't raise your spikes, the slide should be legal.

Re: the use of the word pansy. Its could be construed as politically incorrect, so I'm surprised the thought police are not already after Lester.
   7. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5455071)
Happ did go straight at the bag, but didn't start his slide until really late. And the slide didn't even look like a real slide, it was a clear attempt at going at the fielder. While I don't think that's why it was called, it's the kind of slide I would like to see eliminated. The reason it was called, was because he couldn't maintain possession after the slide. He was way off the bag. I have no problem with this ruling, and I'm a Cubs fan.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5455076)
yeah, it's not difficult to stay on the bag if your focus is reaching the base as quickly as possible.

you know when it's difficult to stay on the bag? when you have something else in mind as well, as Post 7 notes.

I don't mind if someone says they don't like a rule. I don't even mind if people don't like how the rule supposedly is taking some competitiveness out of the game. but violating it and then Lester whining about the call is just dumb. telling the kid to do it the same way next time - again possibly contributing to an additional Cubs loss - is dumber.

and no, I don't see the kid as a dirty player or making a dirty play. he just made a mistake that (maybe, given Lester's nonsense) he will learn from.
   9. ReggieThomasLives Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5455077)
Happs slide was so egregious that Lester should be suspended for life.
   10. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5455079)
Yeah, that looks like a pretty obvious illegal slide under the new rules. There were four or five slides from April of last year that were much more innocuous than that called outs while players were trying to figure out the new rule. Much like the new blocking the plate rule, I feel like within a month or so the players figured out what they can and can't do and it doesn't seem to come up much any more.

I'd chalk it up to a rookie trying to do more than he should in his first game.
   11. Bug Selig Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5455081)
Oversliding a base when running at full speed is difficult to avoid and should not be illegal.
You mean the thing that every single baserunner who has ever tried to reach a base safely has done every single time in the history of the game?
   12. Captain Supporter Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5455084)
It wasn't just Lester that complained about the call. Joe Madden made similar comments. I just looked at the slide again and don't understand either the call or the notion that Happ was deliberately going at the fielder. The slide was a bit late and clumsy but it was not a dirty play and was not particularly dangerous. Happ did come up a bit at the tail end of the slide but he was already past the fielder.

The rule needs to be rethought. Coming off the bag should not be illegal. Raising your spikes or rolling into the fielder are the things that need to be eliminated.
   13. Greg K Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5455089)
The rule needs to be rethought. Coming off the bag should not be illegal. Raising your spikes or rolling into the fielder are the things that need to be eliminated.

How many times has it actually come up though? From my recollection this is the first time I've seen a runner called out on this rule since the beginning of last year (I'm sure it's happened, but it seems pretty rare now that players understand the rule). It's not complicated, and MLB players seem to have it figured out...slide into the bag as if it was a tag play.

Sure, Happ's slide probably wasn't intended to injure anyone, and wasn't really dangerous...but the point is that we don't want umpires trying to determine intent or level of danger. Just slide normally and you've got no problem.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5455090)
Analyst Jim Edmonds was complaining about this in the first inning when Javier Baez seemed unperturbed by a runner sliding into him, saying something like "second baseman don't have anything to fear anymore."

Call me crazy, but I like baseball being decided by who is the best at playing baseball, not who is the best at MMA at second base. I didn't see the fifth inning slide, so maybe it was poorly called, but I am all for taking away guys barreling into second basemen.
   15. Bug Selig Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5455091)
It wasn't just Lester that complained about the call. Joe Madden made similar comments.
The slide, per the new rule, was 100% illegal - arguing the call is silly, and not at all surprising, given that the impartial opinions cited are Happ's manager and his team's new grizzly veteran leader.

The rule itself is new and could probably use some tuning, but I don't know why people are so eager to support the idea that interfering with a fielder is illegal anywhere on a baseball field except in a 10-foot square around second base. Running the bases so as to physically keep a fielder from making a play was already against the rules. Slide to the base - you know, like a baserunner. Being on first base when a ground ball is hit doesn't make you a fullback.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5455096)
The slide, per the new rule, was 100% illegal - arguing the call is silly, and not at all surprising, given that the impartial opinions cited are Happ's manager and his team's new grizzly veteran leader.


As pointed out Jim Edmonds, the Cardinals announcer, was also complaining about the slide rule and that play throughout the rest of the game. I thought the call was bs personally, but it was called properly, the umps had no choice on this matter, the second he reached a point where he couldn't stay on the bag, is the second it became interference.(or obstruction, not sure which technically)

Intent has no bearing on the call on the field, I agree with Maddon and Lester(not about the pansy part, a pitcher calling someone a pansy is rich) that there was no intent, but the rule doesn't allow for intent to factor in the umpires call. (I argued in the game thread that intent should be a factor)
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:28 PM (#5455098)
I don't know why people are so eager to support the idea that interfering with a fielder is illegal anywhere on a baseball field except in a 10-foot square around second base. Running the bases so as to physically keep a fielder from making a play was already against the rules. Slide to the base - you know, like a baserunner. Being on first base when a ground ball is hit doesn't make you a fullback.

Yep. And the faux-macho BS by Lester just makes me support the new rule more.
   18. BDC Posted: May 14, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5455102)
Anybody complaining that there's not enough injury risk involved in gaining or losing a base or an out in a random game in May, better not have complained about the risk of playing "meaningless" WBC games instead of meaningless spring-training games in March :)
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 14, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5455104)
I want to give Keefe a little love for #2.
   20. Cargo Cultist Posted: May 14, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5455108)
I don't know why people are so eager to support the idea that interfering with a fielder is illegal anywhere on a baseball field except in a 10-foot square around second base. Running the bases so as to physically keep a fielder from making a play was already against the rules. Slide to the base - you know, like a baserunner. Being on first base when a ground ball is hit doesn't make you a fullback.


Seconded.
   21. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 14, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5455115)
   22. Lars6788 Posted: May 14, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5455119)
Re: the use of the word pansy. Its could be construed as politically incorrect, so I'm surprised the thought police are not already after Lester.


I think people are smart enough to look past the word and figure out what a smart guy like Lester means - now if a emotional, inarticulate player or a particular manager in the game would have used the same term - there would be genuine outrage and snark as to what really meant by pansy and how it denigrates of the opposite sex, etc.

   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 14, 2017 at 03:20 PM (#5455135)
I don't know why people are so eager to support the idea that interfering with a fielder is illegal anywhere on a baseball field except in a 10-foot square around second base.


Not just that, but the interference is coming from a baserunner who is already out. At any other place on the field, once a runner is out, he has an obligation to get out of the way. If you're tagged out sliding into third, you don't get to then tackle the third baseman to prevent him from throwing to another base. You get off the field.
   24. Jess Franco Posted: May 14, 2017 at 06:06 PM (#5455243)
Lester and Maddon didn't question the ruling, but the rule itself.

Whatever it takes to immortalize Chase Utley.
   25. ReggieThomasLives Posted: May 14, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5455295)
Anything to get more people to realize that Chase Utley is HOF worthy!
   26. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:59 PM (#5455366)
A guy who can't throw a baseball to first base should be careful mocking physicists about the tools of their trade.

Gotta admit that's the first thing that came to mind when I saw "slide rule" in these headlines. Thought it was some kind of dig at stat people. I was surprised to think that Joe Maddon was anti-sabermetric!
   27. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 14, 2017 at 11:49 PM (#5455372)
When I was keeping stats (and being the back-up first baseman) for my high school team in the early 1970s, I used a slide rule to figure out the averages.
   28. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:10 AM (#5455381)
Real men use Texas instruments.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:24 PM (#5455691)
One of the Cards' IFs brought it to the ump's attention immediately and the ump really had no choice. They played a highlight of a Fowler slide earlier this season against the Cubs in which he both went well past the bag and didn't go straight over the bag that was not called -- apparently because one umpire missing a call 6 weeks ago means this umpire should have missed this call too.

I have no idea how often it's getting called, it certainly seems uncommon which may mean that the league nabobs believe players are mostly behaving themselves so the umps are mainly keeping this in their back pocket for when it's really needed. I wonder whether the ump would have called this one if the IF hadn't pointed it out.

On Maddon, I think he was complaining that they would not have been able to turn the DP anyway but I don't think that's part of the rule either.

As to the rule I'm fine with it and Happ went well past the bag here. The only reason it's ever been allowed is that runners could claim they were just sliding in to be safe ... and then that just became an excuse for ridiculous interfering slides. Baseball, wisely I think, decided to come up with a technical definition of what "sliding in an attempt to be safe" is ... maybe it needs fine-tuning but it's in the ballpark I think.

Here's the saber question -- has there been any detectable effect on the rate of turning DPs?
   30. Greg Pope Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5455697)
Baseball, wisely I think, decided to come up with a technical definition of what "sliding in an attempt to be safe" is ... maybe it needs fine-tuning but it's in the ballpark I think.

Agree with this. Sure, at some point you'll get a slide that is technically illegal, but when you look at it you can tell that the guy didn't mean it (or the other way around). But it's impractical to ask the umpires to judge intent, so you make best, simplest, easiest-to-enforce rule that you can and go with it. I'm fine with what they've come up with.
   31. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5455710)
who is the best at MMA at second base.

That champion has already been crowned.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5455712)
But it's impractical to ask the umpires to judge intent


I feel like the fear of judgment calls has strange consequences in sports. For example, the runner on first that will easily score on a double in the gap, but must retreat to third base when the ball bounces over the wall. That's stupid.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5455717)
Agree with this. Sure, at some point you'll get a slide that is technically illegal, but when you look at it you can tell that the guy didn't mean it (or the other way around). But it's impractical to ask the umpires to judge intent, so you make best, simplest, easiest-to-enforce rule that you can and go with it. I'm fine with what they've come up with.


That's exactly right. MLB tried to come up with characteristics of slides they want to discourage, in part because it makes it much easier for the umpires to make those calls. There will be slides that are not dangerous but violate the Utley rule, like this one (he slid too late, but he basically stayed along the ground the entire way), and some that aren't violations of the rule, but are still dangerous.* But if you simply ban "dangerous" slides, you're inviting a whole lot of subjectivity, which also makes it harder to go to replay on.

* My feeling, expressed in the Machado thread, is that MLB should actively discourage those types of dangerous takeout slides, and review slides that are dangerous regardless whether they trigger the extra out penalty in the Utley rule. And upon further review, I wouldn't have dinged Machado.

   34. SoSH U at work Posted: May 15, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5455719)
I feel like the fear of judgment calls has strange consequences in sports. For example, the runner on first that will easily score on a double in the gap, but must retreat to third base when the ball bounces over the wall. That's stupid.


I agree with you on the fear of judgment calls in general, but prefer to avoid judging intent as much as possible.
   35. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5455771)
And upon further review, I wouldn't have dinged Machado.


Which is why Lester went off -- it's not thr players who wanted the stupud rule, but faceless bureaucrats and lawyers.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:46 PM (#5455782)
Which is why Lester went off -- it's not thr players who wanted the stupud rule, but faceless bureaucrats and lawyers.


Has anybody asked Tejada his opinion on it?

A lot of players also ####### about the no plate-blocking rule, which has been a non-issue since the first half of 2015. Players are often stupid.
   37. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 03:54 PM (#5455792)
A lot of players also ####### about the no plate-blocking rule, which has been a non-issue since the first half of 2015. Players are often stupid.


True enough, but admit the Utley rule is bad. You could have just ammended the interference rule, but that would have taken careful thought rather than kneejerk reaction.

Accept my concession.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5455803)


True enough, but admit the Utley rule is bad.


I'm sure the Utley rule could probably be tweaked some to improve it, but I think it's generally OK. MLB wanted to get rid of dangerous slides (it should want to get rid of takeout slides altogether, as the arguments made above by Bug and Tom demonstrate), and they set up the rule in such a way that the umpires could most easily identify which slides qualify. It won't catch all unsafe slides, and it will occasionally nail mostly benign ones, but that's inevitable without making the rule more dependent on the subjectivity of the umpire (in a situation that already has enough moving parts that introducing greater subjectivity isn't necessarily wise).

   39. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5455811)
So we'll get plays like the one's Lester, Maddon, and most players hate and ones like Machado's that precipitate a senseless feud.

Keepin' lawyers in business.
   40. jmurph Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:11 PM (#5455815)
So we'll get plays like the one's Lester, Maddon, and most players hate and ones like Machado's that precipitate a senseless feud.

Lots of players complained when chewing tobacco was banned from the dugouts. They're not the brightest bulbs, it turns out.
   41. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5455826)
True enough, but admit the Utley rule is bad. You could have just ammended the interference rule, but that would have taken careful thought rather than kneejerk reaction.
Actually, the "Utley rule" amends the interference rule:
6.01 Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions
...
(j) (7.14) 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.
   42. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5455828)
They're not the brightest bulbs, it turns out.


Revenge of the nerds.
   43. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5455837)
I'm in complete agreement with cancer survivor Jon Lester. We watch sports for the rather reckless sacrifice of youth/health as a vicarious substitute for war. How long 'til pitching is outlawed and football done away with altogether?

There's a cognitive bias against the working class. Always has been, always will be.
   44. jmurph Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5455842)
I'm in complete agreement with cancer survivor Jon Lester. We watch sports for the rather reckless sacrifice of youth/health as a vicarious substitute for war. How long 'til pitching is outlawed and football done away with altogether?

There's a cognitive bias against the working class. Always has been, always will be.

This is quite literally the dumbest thing ever posted on this site. Ever.
   45. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:27 PM (#5455846)
If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide


The problem starts right here. Happ's slide was as bona fide as they come. The new rule immediately skips precedent to venture into legal gobble. I really think this type of NFL rulemaking is the abandonment of good judgement.
   46. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5455856)
If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide

The problem starts right here. Happ's slide was as bona fide as they come.
No it wasn't, because a bona fide slide is defined precisely in the rule (in part, "is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide") and his slide doesn't meet the definition.
   47. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5455863)
"is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide")


What if you slide into first? What about all the slides that see the runner come off the base by a fraction? Forget the tag, they should all be ruled out for coming off the base.

Make it about actual interference from a runner who is out and you've won me over.
   48. Greg K Posted: May 15, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5455903)
It's far easier to just get players to slide onto the bag (like they do every time there is a tag play), than to ask umpires to make a judgement call on how much someone interfered with the fielder.

Beyond simplicity, this also brings up one of the huge benefits that replay has brought - a tremendous decline in players ######## about calls. For all the problems with replay (and there are more than a few), for me it a cost worth paying to never have to see another player whining to the umpire (maybe one day we can achieve the same with balls and strikes...). If, as a result of any rule amendment, I'm subjected to seeing a player arguing with an umpire over whether that slide constituted interference I'll have to turn to watching cricket full time.

And the clincher is, obviously, that the rule sticks it to the working class scum.
   49. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5455917)
What if you slide into first?
The last time I checked, going through 1st base was perfectly legal.
What about all the slides that see the runner come off the base by a fraction?
That's completely different than this, and you know it. However, if they can't maintain contact they're called out (we've had threads on this).
Make it about actual interference from a runner who is out and you've won me over.
Once again, since you seem to be having trouble: By rule, if you can't maintain contact with the base, it's actually interference and you (and the batter) are out.

And completely unsaid is that the defense gave something up in all of this - the loss of the "neighborhood play". The pivot guy is now forced to actually touch the base while possessing the ball, putting him more in danger of injury.
   50. Jess Franco Posted: May 15, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5455926)

And the clincher is, obviously, that the rule sticks it to the working class scum.

You're alright. For a Canadian.
   51. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 15, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5455934)
And since you're concerned about "actual interference", the video pretty clearly shows that Diaz had to jump over Happ to try to make the throw. That sure sounds like "actual interference".
   52. Shaggy Posted: May 15, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5456016)
to try to make the throw


THERE WAS NO TRY TO MAKE THE THROW

Replay discussions are always blind men describing an elephant.
   53. Shock Posted: May 16, 2017 at 02:09 AM (#5456185)
You should all be ashamed of yourselves
   54. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: May 16, 2017 at 03:57 AM (#5456189)
That is true, of course. But what about this particular thread stands out to you, Shock?

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