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Thursday, July 11, 2019

MLB hands Jake Marisnick two-game suspension for home plate collision with Jonathan Lucroy

Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Jake Marisnick of the Houston Astros will be suspended two games for colliding with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer of Major League Baseball, was responsible for ruling on the collision, and explained his reasoning in the statement MLB released about the suspension.

“After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I have concluded that Jake’s actions warrant discipline. While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision.”

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:50 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jake marisnick, joe torre, jonathan lucroy, long arm of the law

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   1. Rusty Priske Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5861054)
Better than nothing.
   2. Karl from NY Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5861067)
Yeah, it's probably about right. He wasn't trying to injure, or really even to collide; he ended up on the collision trajectory because of a split-second misjudgement that he didn't realize Lucroy was leaning into the space he thought he could use to get around him. But this event does require some discipline since he did initiate the collision even if not really intentionally.
   3. Lassus Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5861079)
Seems somewhat light to me, perhaps I'm in the minority there.
   4. The Duke Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5861090)
The story should read “ Yadier Molina suspended Marisnick for two games with the concurrence of Joe Torre and Major League Baseball”
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5861094)
Seems somewhat light to me, perhaps I'm in the minority there.
I probably would have gone with 4-5 games.
   6. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5861096)
No suspension from me. You can't eliminate all collisions at home plate.

If you suspend Marisnick here, then you have to suspend pitchers who hit batters in the head, even if they didn't mean to do it. Equally dangerous activity, and if the argument is you didn't mean to do it but you should have been more careful, then there you go.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5861099)

If you suspend Marisnick here, then you have to suspend pitchers who hit batters in the head, even if they didn't mean to do it.


You should.

No suspension from me. You can't eliminate all collisions at home plate.


Just because he might not have intended to destroy Lucroy doesn't mean he shouldn't have to pay the consequences of his recklesness. This was light.
   8. Astroenteritis Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5861105)
I thought three games would have been appropriate. Marisnick is the opposite of a dirty player, but he clearly broke the rules and the result was unfortunate. I think intent and the history of the player should factor in the punishment, so this seems OK.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5861107)
If you suspend Marisnick here, then you have to suspend pitchers who hit batters in the head, even if they didn't mean to do it.


You should.

I think that depends. If they're trying to brush him back, or hit him in the arm, and misses by a little, definitely. But, if the guy is hanging over the plate and the ball slips, and he can't get out of the way, no.

I mean if Marisnick tripped and landed on the catcher's knee, totally ending his career, we wouldn't suspend him, that's a complete accident. Sometimes hitting a batter in the head is a complete accident. Going shoulder first into the catcher is never a complete accident.
   10. bobm Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5861108)
The story should read “ Yadier Molina suspended Marisnick for two games with the concurrence of former long-time MLB catcher Joe Torre and Major League Baseball”

FTFY
   11. bunyon Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:46 PM (#5861111)
I assume the people arguing for suspensions for beanings are not also people arguing against TTO baseball. Taking high and tight away from pitchers is begging for more homers.

Lassus, I don't think you're on the minority on the board. I think I am. I would have no suspension. If there was no intent, the punishment is that you're out. Just as the punishment for a HBP without intent is the batter gets a base.
   12. Bhaakon Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5861113)
I think that depends. If they're trying to brush him back, or hit him in the arm, and misses by a little, definitely. But, if the guy is hanging over the plate and the ball slips, and he can't get out of the way, no.


Eh. The extent to which they'd have to be hanging out over the plate for that to be a valid defense is, IMO, comical. If that becomes a real issue, make and enforce rules against it as well.

And, additionally, I have zero issue with sweeping up guys who just have poor command in the zero-tolerance dragnet. If you can't tell where the ball is going, you are a menace and I don't really feel sorry for you if you're suspended a dozen games a season for accidentally hitting people near the head. Learn to pitch better. If the guy is otherwise good except for command, then the team will just have to factor the suspensions into his value just like they do with the walks.
   13. The Duke Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5861114)
I think the suspension is wrong unless baseball just wants to have a blanket rule on suspensions for this and beanballs.
   14. JAHV Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5861115)
If there was no intent, the punishment is that you're out. Just as the punishment for a HBP without intent is the batter gets a base.


But who can verify intent other than Marisnick himself, who is the exact opposite of an unbiased third party? I suppose it also depends on what intent you're referring to. Intent to injure? My guess is almost certainly not, based on Marisnick's reaction to what happened. Intent to get to the plate? Obviously true. Intent to make contact with Lucroy and dislodge the ball? We have no idea. The optics on it don't look good based on the way he changed his angle, but there is also the possibility he made a split second incorrect read and chose to go left instead of right with his dive.

But even if there was no intent to make contact, the play was reckless and dangerous. I have no problem with the suspension and would argue it's a bit light, but only by a game or three.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5861116)
I think that depends. If they're trying to brush him back, or hit him in the arm, and misses by a little, definitely. But, if the guy is hanging over the plate and the ball slips, and he can't get out of the way, no.


I don't care why, nor do I like trying to play the often-foolish game of trying to determine intent. If you happen to hit someone in the head, then you sit for a few games. If you don't like it, don't mess around up there.

Likewise, I don't care whether Marisnick was trying to disembowel Lucroy or this was just generic recklesness. He did. It wouldn't have smarted Jonathan any more if Marisnick had been trying to barrel over him.

   16. Karl from NY Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5861118)
I think intent does and has to matter. No, nobody can know it for sure, but you can make a pretty fair guess. It happens all the time in penalties in other sports. If Marisnick had crowed after the fact about smacking his way through, he'd absolutely be in line for harsher punishment.

Watch it closely: when Marisnick commits to starting his dive, Lucroy is leaning in the other direction, enough so that Marisnick thinks he has space to get around him. Then basically simultaneously as Marisnick starts diving, Lucroy starts to lean into where he's going to be.

On a sliding scale of intent, Marisnick:

- did intend to get past Lucroy to the inside of the baseline, as his best chance to touch home plate
- did intend to occupy that space, since he didn't realize Lucroy was about to lean in that direction and also occupy that space
- didn't intend to collide with him
- certainly didn't intend to injure him

A mild punishment of two games seems about right to me.

Does the runner have to anticipate every direction the catcher might go and avoid all such trajectories?
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5861122)

- didn't intend to collide with him
- certainly didn't intend to injure him


But he did both of those things, whether he intended to. Lucroy's DL stint isn't going to be shortened because Marisnick was merely reckless, not obviously malicious.

You want to add an Intent-Enhancement penalty on top of the regular one in the rare instance when we know for sure there was darkness in the heart, fine. But when you recklessly violate the rules and injure a player, as Marisnick did here, you shouldn't be let off the hook because you feel bad.


   18. Eddo Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5861126)
But even if there was no intent to make contact, the play was reckless and dangerous. I have no problem with the suspension and would argue it's a bit light, but only by a game or three.

I agree with this completely.

I think intent does and has to matter. No, nobody can know it for sure, but you can make a pretty fair guess. It happens all the time in penalties in other sports. If Marisnick had crowed after the fact about smacking his way through, he'd absolutely be in line for harsher punishment.


I also agree with this. I think intent comes into play only in terms of the number of games. I think reckless play should result in suspensions, and this was definitely a reckless play, even if there was no intent to injure. We have penalties in the real world for things like "reckless endangerment" or vehicular crimes where people weren't intending to do damage, so I don't see why it's wrong to have punishments for reckless behavior in sports.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:11 PM (#5861138)
It smacks of "pour encourager les autres". Which may not be a bad thing.
   20. Sean Forman Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5861147)
It's the difference between manslaughter and murder. A foreseeable Injury was caused by his recklessness. He doesn't deserve 20, but 3-4 seem reasonable to me.
   21. my email address is hashtag 57i66135 Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:08 AM (#5861207)
It's the difference between manslaughter and murder. A foreseeable Injury was caused by his recklessness. He doesn't deserve 20, but 3-4 seem reasonable to me.

i'm fine with marisnick getting suspended for two games because of the severity of the contact, and his initiation of it, but what he did was not reckless or careless at all.

if you watch the video again, marisnick plants on his right leg, intending to slide to the inner half of home plate, because he sees lucroy shuffle his feet, and thinks lucroy's left foot is going to kick out into the baseline in front of him.
when he realized that he misjudged lucroy's intent, he planted his left leg, then tried to roll his body across lucroy's, to minimize the impact, so that it would be a glancing blow, rather than a full speed collision.
unfortunately, he wasn't able to clear his head, and it hit lucroy's jaw flush.


i think this is just one of things that happens when someone is moving at full speed. nothing more than being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5861227)
I don't care why, nor do I like trying to play the often-foolish game of trying to determine intent
The whole point of punishment is to penalize someone for bad intent.

Lucroy's DL stint isn't going to be shortened because Marisnick was merely reckless, not obviously malicious.
And it isn't going to be shortened if you give Marisnick a stiffer punishment, either.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5861237)
The whole point of punishment is to penalize someone for bad intent.


Not the whole point. We also punish bad actions that have no bad intent.

And it isn't going to be shortened if you give Marisnick a stiffer punishment, either.


Nope, but his injury was absolutely caused by Marisnick, whether that was his goal.

   24. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:07 AM (#5861244)
So should any injury causing event precipitate a suspension?

Let's say a throw from third pulls the first baseman into the basepath and the first baseman and runner collide.

Runner goes on IL: Should the first baseman be suspended? He knew trying to catch the ball from the basepath was dangerous. Should the third baseman be suspended? I mean, if he can't throw accurately, he should be punished.

First baseman goes on IL: Should the runner be suspended? He should have been watching out for the fielder, knowing he might have to move to catch the ball. Should the third baseman still be suspended, even though it was a teammate he injured?


I'm a huge fan of the Posey rule. I'd be far harsher on double plays and think Utley should have been ejected from the planet. But I just don't see what you guys see in this play. You can say you don't care about intent but clearly a lot of you do and are convinced Marsnick meant to plow the catcher. Which is crazy based on watching it and motive. The goal is to be safe and plowing the catcher means you won't be (as happened here).


Two games is probably right on one score. It's in between the poles of people who want 20 games and those that think the rule carries its own punishment: he was out.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:17 AM (#5861250)
You can say you don't care about intent but clearly a lot of you do and are convinced Marsnick meant to plow the catcher. Which is crazy based on watching it and motive.


But people look at this and see very different things, which just highlights how difficult it truly is to determine intent. That happens all the time. And it's why I don't care that much in a situation like this.

It doesn't mean all plays that result in injury should lead to a suspension. But if you hit someone in the head with a fastball, even if it wasn't clearly your intent, you should get dinged a few games because of how dangerous that is. If you make contact with a catcher with your upper body - and that's not in dispute here - you should get dinged games. Baseball has made it clear (though not clear enough) that they want those types of hits out of the game. Suspending him is absolutely justified.

In contrast, stretching to catch a baseball is not inherently dangerous, and not something baseball has determined it would like to rid the game of. So, no, not all plays that result in an injury need to lead to suspensions.
   26. Rusty Priske Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5861271)
I think the use of the word 'reckless' is wrong.

It wasn't 'reckless'. It was INTENTIONAL.

Anyone who can look at the video and claim that Marisnick didn't INTENTIONALLY bowl Lucroy over is being wilfully blind.

Do I believe he intended to injure? No. But he INTENTIONALLY knocked him over.

This is where the comparison with a pitcher hitting a batter in the head falls apart. If a pitcher hits a batter in the head unintentionally, that is a different scenario. This would be more like a pitcher who was TRYING to hit a batter in the side, get it up and accidentally hit him in the head. The intent to hit him was there - just not the severity.

Too bad. You did it, you pay the price. The recipient sure does.

It should have been at least 10 games. 2 games is better than nothing, but still too low.
   27. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5861290)
I think you're willfully blind, Rusty.


So there.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5861299)
I think you're willfully blind, Rusty.


The problem is, Marisnick lowered his shoulder. There's no reason for him turn turn inside the line, he's already headed inside the line. Lowering the shoulder may have been meant to bowl Lucroy over, or it may have just been a self-defence instinct. That's why I think you just have to require runners to slide feet first.
   29. bobm Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5861303)
Regardless of the runner's actions, ISTM Lucroy should have stayed on his feet in a crouch and stepped forward to catch the ball. He instead sat down, lunged for the ball up the line into the runner's path, and he never caught the ball even prior to the collision. The % cause of the collision attributable to Lucroy, rule out no rule, seems to me to be overlooked here. YMMV.
   30. Karl from NY Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5861305)
Anyone who can look at the video and claim that Marisnick didn't INTENTIONALLY bowl Lucroy over is being wilfully blind.

I went in with no preconceived notions (not a fan of either team or player) and didn't reach that conclusion. Marisnick just made a very late decision to occupy space that he didn't expect Lucroy to also occupy.

Marisnick was trying to go around Lucroy. He ended up colliding because of a combination of poor and late judgment and Lucroy reacting unexpectedly. At that point there's nothing else to do but brace for impact.
The % cause of the collision attributable to Lucroy, rule out no rule, seems to me to be overlooked here.

Although it's not being quantified, I think this is pretty much being implicitly considered in the severity, it's included in what justifies 2 games rather than 20.
   31. JAHV Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5861336)
There is no % of the blame that goes to Lucroy. He stayed completely inside the foul line and reacted to where the ball was going.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5861354)

Marisnick looks to me like he was planning to slide headfirst, but the throw pulled Lucroy several feet up the line instead meeting him at the plate. He "lowered his shoulder" because that's how you enter into a headfirst slide. He tried to make a last-second adjustment but I do believe he was trying to avoid a collision, not initiate one. I can see how others might come to a different conclusion.

I still think it was reckless and would have given him more like a 5-10 game suspension rather than 2.
   33. my email address is hashtag 57i66135 Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5861407)
Regardless of the runner's actions, ISTM Lucroy should have stayed on his feet in a crouch and stepped forward to catch the ball. He instead sat down, lunged for the ball up the line into the runner's path, and he never caught the ball even prior to the collision. The % cause of the collision attributable to Lucroy, rule out no rule, seems to me to be overlooked here. YMMV.
before the posey rule, this would be a clear example of a player (lucroy) making himself vulnerable and exposing himself to injury. in a pre-posey world, there would be no sympathy for lucroy whatsoever (-ish; thankfully, we're not all libertarians).

however, this is not a pre-posey world. as vulnerable as lucroy may have made himself, he did it within the rules, and so he does not share any blame whatsoever for this outcome.


since i went through marisnick's intent in [21], let me do the same thing for lucroy.

lucroy established himself on the inner half of the plate, giving marisnick a clear lane towards the outer half.
as the throw came in from right field, his right foot inches forward, angling his body towards the outer half of the plate.
he stretches with his right foot as the ball reaches him, and his left knee touches the ground.
his left hand reaches for the ball, and marisnick whales him.

from lucroy's point of view, he did everything right. he's well inside of the baseline giving marisnick a path to the plate, and his own body is angled towards that path so as to apply a tag.
So should any injury causing event precipitate a suspension?
as for this: no.

the game theory in this situation has been well defined. when a catcher establishes himself on one side of the plate, a baserunner cannot initiate contact with him. the tradeoff here is that if a catcher does not leave a clear path towards the plate for a baserunner, that runner would be ruled safe.

marisnick violated a black and white rule; lucroy did not. if marisnick's violation had been intentional, that would warrant a 15-20 game suspension, at least. since it was not, MLB had some leeway to determine his punishment. imo, a 2-4 game suspension is reasonable considering the circumstances.


as i said in [21], i think this was just one of those things that happens when a sport is played at full speed.
   34. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5861438)
I don't see how the word "reckless" applies unless you first conclude that Marisnick's was intentionally smashing into Lucroy. Then you could say that although the injury wasn't intentional, it was recklessly caused by his decision to initiate a collision. But if you don't think he was trying to do that, then in what sense was he "reckless"? Which decision of his?
   35. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5861439)
"Reckless" - not intending to hit Lucroy, but sliding in a way that might reasonably result in a collision.

Yesterday my daughter broke something by jumping it over it, miscalculating the jump, and smacking it with her feet. She didn't intend to hit it or intend to break it, but she acted recklessly.
   36. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5861444)
I think we can all agree that PreservedFish's daughter should get a five-game suspension.
   37. Eddo Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5861445)
I don't see how the word "reckless" applies unless you first conclude that Marisnick's was intentionally smashing into Lucroy. Then you could say that although the injury wasn't intentional, it was recklessly caused by his decision to initiate a collision. But if you don't think he was trying to do that, then in what sense was he "reckless"? Which decision of his?

In the same way a driver going 130 mph with other cars on the road is being reckless. Even if Marisnick wasn't intending to hit Lucroy, the actions he took increased the likelihood of doing so, and in turn increased the likelihood of injury.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5861447)
It's like DN doesn't know how people use the word "reckless." Which is possible. It's a lawyer thing, I guess.
   39. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5861449)

I don't see how the word "reckless" applies unless you first conclude that Marisnick's was intentionally smashing into Lucroy.

I think he should have gone for a slide on the outside of the plate, which would have had a much lower chance of a collision. He went for the inside of the plate -- which he claims he thought would avoid a collision because Lucroy was moving towards the center of the baseline, but which was obviously a more risky play. Hence, "reckless."
   40. Sean Forman Posted: July 12, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5861467)
https://twitter.com/atf13atf/status/1147993962243923974

Please look at the video above. Lucroy is 100% inside the field of play. Not blocking the plate.

Marsinick is either reckless, stupid or intentionally blowing up the catcher. Marsinick's last step is 3 FEET inside the baseline.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5861479)

To me it looked like Lucroy moved further inside to catch the throw just as Marisnick was trying to go inside as well. Marisnick claims he thought the play was going to end up on the outside of the plate which is why he went inside:

“Through my eyes I thought the play was going to end up on the outside of the plate,” Marisnick tweeted after the game. “I made a split second decision at full speed to slide head first on the inside part of the plate. That decision got another player hurt and I feel awful. I hope nothing but the best for @JLucroy20.”


I'm not capable of looking into Marisnick's heart to know whether he's telling the truth, but like I said it was reckless at best and I'd have supported a longer suspension.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5861480)

(I could not view the video you posted as I don't have access to Twitter at work, but I've watched the MLB.com video like a dozen times.)
   43. JAHV Posted: July 12, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5861490)
I think we can all agree that PreservedFish's daughter should get a five-game suspension.


She should be suspended for as long as the item is broken.
   44. Sean Forman Posted: July 12, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5861501)
To me it looked like Lucroy moved further inside to catch the throw just as Marisnick was trying to go inside as well


From the time Marsinick was 40 feet from the plate, Lucroy's left foot moves about two inches and his right foot moves 18 inches forwad and not side-to-side. Lucroy's center of gravity barely moved at all when Marsinick was coming down the third base line. Watch Lucroy's feet. They don't move. Marsinick takes five full strides in this time. Average stride length is around 85 inches, so he was at least 35 feet away at which point Lucroy was stationary and Marsinick swerved in at the last minute and blew him up.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5861554)
BBTF Central Park softball vets 42 and 44 could reenact the whole play live next month!

(crossthread to the softball thread, which just today referenced Shakespeare in Central Park. it all weaves together in the end, like the best Seinfeld episodes - wait, one of which featured a Central Park softball game!)
   46. MikeinMI Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5861563)
I expect additional judgement will come to Marisnick courtesy of one of LuCroy’s teammates from the mound in a future game.
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:39 PM (#5861570)
I watched the video. Lucroy’s body is moving towards the inside of the baseline as Marisnick arrives. This happens as Marisnick is taking his final stride. Marisnick claims he thought he saw something indicating Lucroy was moving towards the outer edge of the plate. Maybe he’s a liar and a sociopath (and an idiot, since a clean slide and he would have been safe). I’m not so sure.
   48. Darren Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5861612)

I think we can all agree that PreservedFish's daughter should get a five-game suspension.


And that PreservedFish should have his children taken away.
   49. Darren Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5861613)
Watch the play and try to imagine what Marsinick's slide would look like if Lucroy's body wasn't there. It makes no sense unless he's launching himself at the catcher or has no sense of the physical world.
   50. donlock Posted: July 13, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5861646)
Does the suspended player have the right to appeal the two game suspension? Generally the original penalty is halved on appeal. Will we be talking about a one game suspension when this wraps up?

Seems too light. I would have given a 5 game suspension and suspended two days of it on appeal but that is the view of a cynical person.
   51. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 09:36 PM (#5861688)
#49 he tried to avoid Lucroy at the last moment when he realized Lucroy was moving inside not outside. You can see that in one of the camera angles. Hence why it doesn’t look like a normal slide.

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