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Monday, May 17, 2021

Manny Machado completed a dangerous and unnecessary slide, and MLB fans were incensed

Manny Machado’s base running is in question, again. The San Diego Padres slugger put an opposing player, Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman, in harm’s way during a game on Sunday.

With Edman fielding a grounder, he went for a tag on Machado, who was headed to second. After that, Edman likely would’ve gone for the double play with a throw to first. Thing is, Edman couldn’t make the throw because Machado slid into Edman’s legs — in the middle of the base path. At least, Machado checked on Edman afterward.

Is it illegal, by rules? No. Machado can do what he wants within the lines of the base path to avoid getting tagged. Is it unethical and sketchy? Absolutely. If it were any other player, we might not be talking about the play. With Machado having a long history of dangerous and dirty base running, this is yet another mark against his reputation.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:21 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: manny machado

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   1. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6019124)
We used to save this level of outrage for when Utley destroyed a man's career.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6019125)
Is it illegal, by rules? No. Machado can do what he wants within the lines of the base path to avoid getting tagged. Is it unethical and sketchy? Absolutely. If it were any other player, we might not be talking about the play. With Machado having a long history of dangerous and dirty base running, this is yet another mark against his reputation.


IOW "People are saying". What a crock.

There was nothing "dirty" about that slide. Machado was in the basepath, and he didn't come in spikes high.

   3. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6019127)
Isn't it really rare to slide into a fielder when you are not anywhere near a base?
   4. phredbird Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:51 PM (#6019128)

i missed it when it happened, then saw it on the replay.

meh. i thought it was weird he slid, but he did break up the double play, and it was legal.

i can't remember if the game was still close, either ... the whole weekend is something i'd rather forget, frankly. we were absolutely terrible.

the unwritten rules were unmade to be broken, i guess.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#6019131)

Isn't it really rare to slide into a fielder when you are not anywhere near a base?


Yes, it's damn near unheard of, just as Albert's mid-path obliteration of Fernando Vina was. It's a bullshit play by a guy who's already had a career full of them.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6019139)
Kinda seems like Machado has all his momentum headed towards Edman and slides to avoid a direct collision. My guess is if this was Mike Trout, no one would bat an eye, but Machado does have a history I guess.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6019141)
This ranks pretty low on my outrage meter, but it does look like he was going for the fielder’s feet rather than just trying to avoid being tagged.
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6019152)
People are upset over this? Have they ever seen Albert Belle?
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6019154)
Kinda seems like Machado has all his momentum headed towards Edman and slides to avoid a direct collision. My guess is if this was Mike Trout, no one would bat an eye, but Machado does have a history I guess.


Mike Trout has never done that, and almost certainly wouldn't.

Standard procedure here is to stop and try to backtrack, go straight down to make the tag take more time, step to the side to avoid the tag or give yourself up. I've never seen someone slide in the middle of the path, and I doubt any of you have either.

You slide into a base, either to avoid a tag or to keep yourself on the bag once you've hit it. No one slides in the middle of the basepath, which is why the Cardinal defender was taken out.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6019155)
Yea, I take that back, he definitely could have stopped in time.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6019169)
This ranks pretty low on my outrage meter, but it does look like he was going for the fielder’s feet rather than just trying to avoid being tagged.

If he tries to avoid the tag, he either gets tagged anyway or gets called out for running out of the basepath. And either way the DP would've been completed.

If it's kosher to slide into a fielder who's straddling second base in an attempt to break up a DP, I'm not sure why it's not kosher to do the same thing when the fielder is halfway towards first. It doesn't happen often because the front end of most DPs involve a force out, not a tag.

Again, Machado didn't leave the basepath, and he didn't try to spike Edman. He broke up the DP in a perfectly legal way that was no "dirtier" than the same sort of slide if it'd been into second base.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6019182)
If it's kosher to slide into a fielder who's straddling second base in an attempt to break up a DP, I'm not sure why it's not kosher to do the same thing when the fielder is halfway towards first. It doesn't happen often because the front end of most DPs involve a force out, not a tag.


Because your sole purpose in this situation is to take out a defensive player, rather than sliding into a base, which is how you arrive at second regardless whether you're safe or out.*

It was a bullshit play when Belle trucked Vina. This is also a bullshit play.

* By the way, the fact that we allow already-retired baserunners to interfere with defenders making a play is the single-dumbest thing baseball ever tolerated. It can be unavoidable on a bang-bang play, but the idea of taking out the second baseman/shortstop flies in the face of all of the other rules governing play.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6019194)
Because your sole purpose in this situation is to take out a defensive player, rather than sliding into a base, which is how you arrive at second regardless whether you're safe or out.*

Yup. Bullshit play.
   14. The Duke Posted: May 17, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6019201)
Seems like a dangerous play. The fielder isn’t expecting a slide there. When turning a DP, the fielder is focused on avoiding injury from a slide. No one is expecting a slide there. So I’ll go with legal but dirty.
   15. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:12 PM (#6019216)
C'mon, Andy, we've been watching baseball since Abner Doubleday didn't lay out that field in Cooperstown, and we've NEVER seen anybody slide that far from the base. The exact same situation comes up dozens of times each season, and the runner's response is ALWAYS to either slow down so that the fielder can't both make the tag and get the out at first, or side-step him to avoid it. I have no rooting interest here, and nothing against Machado. No matter who had done it, I would've called it a dirty play.
   16. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6019221)
So did he ever bother to tag Machado then?

Edit: Just watched the whole thing. He did not. Machado just apologized and left the field.
Edit 2: I'm going with illegal as I thought part of the slide rule included the ability to reach the base.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6019223)
So did he ever bother to tag Machado then?

Edit: Just watched the whole thing. He did not. Machado just apologized and left the field.
I can't see the ump, did he call him out? If so, he probably thought the glove swiped Machado's head/helmet.
   18. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6019224)
If this is terrible then MLB should make a rule. Otherwise, I don't care.

Years ago I might have tried a good-faith evaluation of this specific play, but at this point, the unwritten rules police have pushed me into the camp where do what you want within the rules, since people are going to piss and moan anyway.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6019226)
C'mon, Andy, we've been watching baseball since Abner Doubleday didn't lay out that field in Cooperstown, and we've NEVER seen anybody slide that far from the base. The exact same situation comes up dozens of times each season, and the runner's response is ALWAYS to either slow down so that the fielder can't both make the tag and get the out at first, or side-step him to avoid it. I have no rooting interest here, and nothing against Machado. No matter who had done it, I would've called it a dirty play.
Exactly. I was watching this last night and was amazed that Vasgersian and ARod both went out of their way to declare it "nothing dirty."

Edit 2: I'm going with illegal as I thought part of the slide rule included the ability to reach the base.
Also this.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6019227)
Machado thwarted a double play without doing anything likely to injure the fielder. There’s nothing wrong with that, not by any rule, nor should there be, unless avoiding double plays is no longer part of professional baseball. This is a non-issue with any other player.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: May 17, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6019228)
without doing anything likely to injure the fielder.
Why do you think this? Machado himself afterwards appeared worried that he had injured the other guy.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6019232)
Machado thwarted a double play without doing anything likely to injure the fielder. There’s nothing wrong with that, not by any rule, nor should there be, unless avoiding double plays is no longer part of professional baseball. This is a non-issue with any other player.

In any baseball or softball league I've played in, this would have caused a brawl.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6019233)
Runners on first and second, grounder to short. How often do you see the runner from second slide to take out the shortstop as he's charging to field the ball?
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6019234)
If this is terrible then MLB should make a rule. Otherwise, I don't care.


Yes, let's just leave it up to Manfred. What could go wrong?
   25. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6019236)
There’s nothing wrong with that, not by any rule,

As others have pointed out, it's very obviously a violation of the slide rule. Here's an excerpt from MLB.com explaining the rule:
Under the new Rule 6.01(j), a runner will have to make a "bona fide slide," which is defined as making contact with the ground before reaching the base, being able to and attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, being able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide...
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6019238)
In any baseball or softball league I've played in, this would have caused a brawl.
This is the highest level professional baseball, not a weekend rec league. Breaking up double plays is part of a MLB baserunner’s job.
   27. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6019241)
In any baseball or softball league I've played in
Imma stop you right there, man. You're basically comparing yourself to a pilot because you know how to fold a paper airplane.
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6019251)
Machado is garbage, but we knew that.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6019252)
Imma stop you right there, man. You're basically comparing yourself to a pilot because you know how to fold a paper airplane.

No I'm a human being, and I know how human beings react to attempts to injure them.
   30. Ron J Posted: May 17, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6019259)
#27 And in my (fairly extensive) experience the weekend warriors can be more likely to fight than the pros. Can go either way, but a lot of teams have "that guy" and if he's anywhere near the play there's going to be punches thrown.
   31. TJ Posted: May 17, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6019261)
I am stunned the Cardinals did not drill Machado his next time up. I don’t mean just brushing him back, but smoking him with a fastball in an arm or knee. That was a dirty play regardless of whether it was legal- but obviously the Cardinals did not think so at the time or they would have drilled him. So I don’t want to hear any whining from the Cardinals players about the play.

It is the pros and, if you are going to let opposing players take advantage of you without doing something about it, then you get what you deserve. (Which is pretty much the same view I had of the Astros stealing signs against the Dodgers. The Dodgers didn’t do anything to stop it except complain, so they got what they deserved, too.)
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 17, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6019262)
Machado thwarted a double play without doing anything likely to injure the fielder. There’s nothing wrong with that, not by any rule, nor should there be, unless avoiding double plays is no longer part of professional baseball. This is a non-issue with any other player.

Exactly.

In any baseball or softball league I've played in, this would have caused a brawl.

This is the highest level professional baseball, not a weekend rec league. Breaking up double plays is part of a MLB baserunner’s job.

And when a player wants to injure a fielder, he goes out of the baseline with spikes flying high, or body-rolls him. Machado did none of those things.

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

No I'm a human being, and I know how human beings react to attempts to injure them.

So I guess that unlike you and your weekend softball warriors, Edman's not a human being. Funny how he's not nearly as worked about this play as some of you here.
   33. RoyalFlush Posted: May 17, 2021 at 06:31 PM (#6019265)
In any baseball or softball league I've played in, this would have caused a brawl.


Wow. You guys are such alphas. I guess MLB players need to look at pros like you to know how "real mean" would respond.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 07:19 PM (#6019269)

Wow. You guys are such alphas. I guess MLB players need to look at pros like you to know how "real mean" would respond.


Geeze, try not to be dense. I'm saying everyone should recognize that as a BS dirty play. Has anyone ever seen or heard of a guy sliding at a fielder not at a base? No. That's how we know it's BS.

How about men on first and second, one-out. Tailor made DP ball to the SS. Can the runner on 2B slide into him? How about just run him over?

It's just stupid, nobody should ever be allowed to slide except at a base, and as [25] pointed out, that's the actual rule.
   35. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6019271)
I don't think Machado deserves the benefit of the doubt based on his history, so I come down on the side of dirty, but barely, and only because it's Machado. In this case, intent matters (it's the only thing that matters), and I think the rarity of the action (I've literally never seen it before in professional baseball) and the history of the perpetrator make me think it's a dirty play.

I don't think this necessarily breaks the bona fide slide rule, depending on how you interpret it. Machado has a right to avoid a tag, and going low underneath it, as unorthodox as it is, could constitute an attempt to avoid a tag. This is not a slide into a base where a force out is being made and where a slide should take the player into the base and keep him there, if the player is genuinely attempting to reach base safely. Could you imagine a player who was so athletic that he pulled off a slide that got underneath a tag, then the player popped up and continued to the next base? That would be incredible! Manny Machado is not that player and did not look like he was trying to pull off a move like that, so I'll vote dirty. But I do think it could be construed as legal and I also think it could be done without malicious intent.
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 17, 2021 at 07:39 PM (#6019272)
It's just stupid, nobody should ever be allowed to slide except at a base, and as [25] pointed out, that's the actual rule.

A teammate of mine BITD once tried to steal a base and started his slide about 10' before he even reached second base. The second baseman just walked over and tagged him. And this was in the 9th inning when we were several runs behind.

When he got back to the bench and was being bawled out by our coach and ridiculed by the rest of us, he said "I was just trying to shake up the pitcher".
   37. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 17, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6019273)

As others have pointed out, it's very obviously a violation of the slide rule. Here's an excerpt from MLB.com explaining the rule:

Under the new Rule 6.01(j), a runner will have to make a "bona fide slide," which is defined as making contact with the ground before reaching the base, being able to and attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, being able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide...


Yeah, but the rest of the rule suggests different:

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.

   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6019274)
Wow. You guys are such alphas. I guess MLB players need to look at pros like you to know how "real mean" would respond.


That is a really bizarre turn. The guys arguing this was a dirty play are the tough guy real men?

That would be incredible! Manny Machado is not that player and did not look like he was trying to pull off a move like that,


He wasn't.

But I do think it could be construed as legal and I also think it could be done without malicious intent.


You could try to slide to avoid a tag, and that would be fine. Going right at the fielder's legs is not that slide.

I challenge Andy or Clapper of any of the defenders to point to a single instance where a baserunner slid to take out a defender in the middle of the paths. Ever.
   39. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 17, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6019280)
25. jmurph Posted: May 17, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6019236)
As others have pointed out, it's very obviously a violation of the slide rule.


Anyone can say this is dirty or not dirty, but it is not a violation of the slide rule. From MLB, the heading of 6.01(j) separate this incident from the rule. That heading:

Sliding to Bases on Double Play Attempts"


From MLB's lay version of the rules (emphasis added):

When sliding into a base in an attempt to break up a double play, a runner has to make a "bona fide slide."


If folks want to take a position like Snapper described, that runners only slide into bases, fine. But Machado did not violate any rule since this slide was not into a base.
   40. villageidiom Posted: May 17, 2021 at 08:40 PM (#6019281)
Legal.

OK, I'll hit two main concepts here:

(a) Right of way. The hierarchy goes something like this:

1. Fielder, in the act of fielding the ball (batted or thrown).
2. Runner who has not yet been put out.
3. Fielder not in the act of fielding the ball.
4. Runner who has already been put out.

There are fine points on this - like, the batter can't round first on a liner to the LCF gap, proceed out to RF, bowl over the right fielder, and get the fielder called for obstruction. Technically he can, if he runs past the right fielder to the point where the fielder is directly between him and 2nd base - at which point the right fielder is in the runner's baseline - and then runs into him. But I mean, clearly that's not what we're talking about here. The above hierarchy will do for this discussion.

In this case, Edman already has the ball, so the top of the hierarchy effectively goes to Machado. Normally this doesn't matter much, because when a fielder in possession of the ball and a runner are converging on the same location it will end with the runner getting tagged out, at which point the runner immediately goes to the bottom of the hierarchy. Either that or the runner will try to avoid the tag - but if he deviates more than 3 feet to either side in the act of avoiding the tag he is called out and moves to the bottom of the hierarchy. To avoid getting tagged and not be called out for avoiding the tag, when the fielder with the ball is directly between him and the base, the runner's options are to halt, to retreat, to go high (i.e. jump over the fielder), or to go low (i.e. drop under the fielder). All of those options are legal. Most of the time they will also result in him eventually being tagged out. But they're all legal.

Machado, whether trying to play dirty or not, dropped down to get under a tag, which is legal. He had the right-of-way to do this. He appeared to do it successfully, though he abandoned the bases and was called out, or the ump said he was tagged out and they didn't ask for review. Regardless, it was a legal maneuver.

(b) The slide rule. This is where I know people are going to flip out, but 6.01(j) pertains explicitly to sliding to bases on a double play attempt. This clearly didn't involve sliding into a base. I mean, the people saying it's not a bona fide slide because he's nowhere near making contact with the base have already effectively admitted Machado wasn't sliding to a base on this.

But if you have a problem with that, that's OK, because it's still legal. If you've read the rule to understand what a bona fide slide is, you should keep reading because the rule eventually says "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." That is EXACTLY what is happening on this play: Edman has moved into Machado's legal pathway to the base. If you are saying the rule applies, well, the rule says he shall not be called out for interference. Machado's contact with Edman is legal, even in the context of the slide rule, were the rule to apply.
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2021 at 08:45 PM (#6019283)
As should be obvious, trying to go low to avoid a tag, and disrupt the fielder, is NOT sliding into a base. Machado broke no rule, and no one on the Cardinals objected in any way. There was no attempt to injure or dirty play, and it’s beyond absurd that some contend MLB players should not do whatever they can legally do to thwart double plays. Frank Robinson would laugh at such nonsense.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6019284)
It's definitely legal. It's also unquestionably a cheap, bullshit play (like many of Manny's previously legal plays).

Albert Belle's play was legal (still is, because MLB is run by dumbasses). He also got suspended for it.

   43. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 17, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6019306)
If what Machado did was so cheap and dirty, then why didn't either Edman or his teammates make an issue of it?

Plenty of riots have ensued when it was thought that a dirty slide had taken place. It's not as if ballplayers are rape victims who are ashamed of calling out their assailants.

The expression "more Catholic than the Pope" seems to apply here to Machado's accusers.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:47 PM (#6019328)
If what Machado did was so cheap and dirty, then why didn't either Edman or his teammates make an issue of it?


I've given up trying to figure out what goes on in big leaguers heads.

But I'll ask you again: If this was not a bullshit play, why have we never seen it before?

The expression "more Catholic than the Pope" seems to apply here to Machado's accusers.


Many of us were decrying the stupidity of home plate collisions and Utleyesque assault at second while big leaguers shrugged and engaged in that idiocy. We were right then, too.
   45. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:50 PM (#6019329)
Yes, let's just leave it up to Manfred. What could go wrong?


Completely non-responsive. If there is a situation that is so terrible it is worth getting so very worked up over, then there should be a rule against it. If it is not such then the unwritten rules can go sit and spin.

You seem to be arguing that gee since the Commissioner is terrible then this situation has to be handled some other way. I would argue that maybe if the commissioner is so terrible as all that then maybe that is job one, and dealing with the commissioner is irrelevant to handling this particular situation.

So again, unwritten rules are dumb. Terrible plays should have real written rules. And the quality of the commissioner is irrelevant to that discussion.
   46. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6019331)
But I'll ask you again: If this was not a bullshit play, why have we never seen it before?


I don't care if it is a BS play or not honestly, but are you suggesting all new things are automatically BS? Anything we have not seen many times before is suspect? So the very first time a shift was put on it was BS and likely fight or bean worthy, but with repetition it became OK?
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#6019332)
Completely non-responsive. If there is a situation that is so terrible it is worth getting so very worked up over, then there should be a rule against it. If it is not such then the unwritten rules can go sit and spin.


MLB actually took action to get breaking up double plays out of the game as much as possible when they enacted the slide rule. Are you seriously suggesting because they didn't envision this kind of bullshit move, it can't be criticized?

So again, unwritten rules are dumb. Terrible plays should have real written rules. And the quality of the commissioner is irrelevant to that discussion.


Unwritten rules exist in all walks of life.

When Manny Machado spiked the Brewers' first baseman in the NLCS a few years back, what rule did he break? Do you think that it wasn't a bullshit play simply because MLB hasn't specifically outlawed it.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2021 at 10:57 PM (#6019333)

I don't care if it is a BS play or not honestly, but are you suggesting all new things are automatically BS?


Of course not. Sliding at someone's legs in the middle of the basepaths is a bullshit play. I think MLB should outlaw it, but since MLB couldn't even get the Posey Rule right, or really much of anything in the last dozen years, I don't have high hopes for their ability to deal with this.

Instead of whatever it is you're doing, how about this: Defend this. Why should sliding at someone's legs in the middle of the basepaths (or really, anywhere) be legal?
   49. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:03 AM (#6019342)
Over at The Athletic, Buck Showalter on Manny Machado’s slide: ‘It’s a great, thinking man’s baseball play’:

“I’m still trying to figure out what the story is,” said Buck Showalter, Machado’s former manager in Baltimore.

The story, if it can be called that, did open a window into a technique that has long been used by teams at all levels. In Sunday’s 5-3 win against the Cardinals, Machado employed it in what became a four-run inning for the Padres; he first learned it years ago, as a young man in the Orioles organization. Showalter, who oversaw its application, has been teaching it since before Machado was born.

“It was pretty much a staple with the Yankees,” said Showalter, who began managing in New York’s system in the 1980s.

...

Showalter said he coached [Orioles] infielders to be ready to defend against slides such as Machado’s.

“Most guys are completely caught off guard, and they’re not able to complete the double play … because they’re all expecting a high tag,” Showalter said. “You have to be prepared for a low swipe tag. As important, don’t get hooked into it. You should go 4-6-3.”

...

Showalter said he believed many people would have viewed Machado’s slide differently if it had come from another player. Washington’s Trea Turner did not draw headlines after he enacted a similar slide between first and second last month, though Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor stopped short of Turner and did not tumble over him.
   50. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:20 AM (#6019343)
If what Machado did was so cheap and dirty, then why didn't either Edman or his teammates make an issue of it?
Pedroia seemed to be A-OK with the Machado slide that ended his career, because gritty tough guy, apparently.
   51. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:31 AM (#6019344)
   52. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:34 AM (#6019349)
“I’m still trying to figure out what the story is,” said Buck Showalter, Machado’s former manager in Baltimore.

The story, if it can be called that, did open a window into a technique that has long been used by teams at all levels. In Sunday’s 5-3 win against the Cardinals, Machado employed it in what became a four-run inning for the Padres; he first learned it years ago, as a young man in the Orioles organization. Showalter, who oversaw its application, has been teaching it since before Machado was born.

“It was pretty much a staple with the Yankees,” said Showalter, who began managing in New York’s system in the 1980s.

I doubt if many of Machado's Twitter accusers will pay any attention to what Showalter says. After all, what would Buck Showalter know about plays like that?----"Who's Buck Showalter? He was before my time!"
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:48 AM (#6019351)
I doubt if many of Machado's Twitter accusers will pay any attention to what Showalter says. After all, what would Buck Showalter know about plays like that?----"Who's Buck Showalter? He was before my time!"


Well, Buck really ought to take another look at that replay.

You can't possibly believe what Turner did there is the same thing as what Machado did. He was sliding away from the defender, obviously trying to make it harder for the double play to be turned. As mentioned above, I don't have a problem with that.

Manny went straight at the defender, trying to take him out.

Believing the issue we have with the latter is similar to the former is asinine.
   54. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: May 18, 2021 at 07:54 AM (#6019352)
Unwritten rules exist in all walks of life.


There will always be a gray area between the rules. Rules typically change slower than the environment where they exist, leading to problems and then adjustments and often new rules. I am not saying unwritten rules don't exist, simply that I don't care about them at such a remove. They are unwritten because they exist in the in-between spaces, and yet for Baseball the Unwritten Rules Police act as if they were commandments brought down the mountain, clear to everyone, fixed, immoveable, and at least as powerful as any law.

If the particular unwritten rule violation is such a huge deal then there should be a new rule. If it is not a huge deal, just part of the normal friction generated by such activity, if it is the sort of thing that belongs in the gray area to be handled by unwritten rules, then I am not getting all emotional about it. It is by definition borderline.

So, is this worth a real rule or is it in-between?

Instead of whatever it is you're doing, how about this: Defend this. Why should sliding at someone's legs in the middle of the basepaths (or really, anywhere) be legal?


Why should I have to defend it? Should I next defend ball scratching on national TV? There are plenty of things I am not willing to "defend", like beaning for example. It is not my job to run around defending every little action.

So far the action in question seems like a one-off where no one was hurt or even particularly in danger. If it becomes an epidemic or is somehow a huge deal, then pass a rule. Try to discourage the behavior. Otherwise, sorry, but I don't care enough to even attempt to defend it or attack it.
   55. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6019354)
Well, Buck really ought to take another look at that replay.

You might also want to read the rest of what Buck said about having taught plays like that in both the Yankees and the Orioles' systems.
The story, if it can be called that, did open a window into a technique that has long been used by teams at all levels. In Sunday’s 5-3 win against the Cardinals, Machado employed it in what became a four-run inning for the Padres; he first learned it years ago, as a young man in the Orioles organization. Showalter, who oversaw its application, has been teaching it since before Machado was born.

“It was pretty much a staple with the Yankees,” said Showalter, who began managing in New York’s system in the 1980s.

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

So far the action in question seems like a one-off where no one was hurt or even particularly in danger.

And which no Cardinal even complained about, though apparently that's to be deemed Officially Irrelevant. What would they know, either?
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 08:44 AM (#6019355)
You might also want to read the rest of what Buck said about having taught plays like that in both the Yankees and the Orioles' systems.


Honestly, I'm not surprised Buck would teach a bullshit play. That's kind of his thing. But if he's pointing to the Trea Turner play as a defense of Manny's slide, he doesn't understand the argument.

And that the Cardinals didn't complain doesn't really surprise me. For years, MLB players said nothing about catchers getting run over by baserunners, and that was never anything but stupid and really inconsistent with how the sport is otherwise played. The same is true of the ridiculous takeout slide.

Fortunately, most ballplayers don't have the reckless disregard for the safety of their fellow players that Machado has consistently demonstrated, so I don't see this becoming a regular thing.


   57. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6019368)
But I'll ask you again: If this was not a bullshit play, why have we never seen it before?


Because it's a sufficiently inconsequential play that it wouldn't get highlight-reel coverage if it didn't involve Machado? I don't know, but in addition to the play in #49, here's a play in a Dodgers-DBacks game in which the second baseman is taken out on basically the same slide.
   58. bunyon Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6019371)
BS? No idea. That's usually in the eye of the beholder. But standing directly in front of an oncoming baserunner in the basepath has been a recipe to be decked from the beginning of the game. The runner has no obligation to surrender and can avoid the tag however they want. Usually they try to go around.

I guess my point is: If this was someone other than Machado - who has a history of dirty slides (IMO) - this would be no big deal. The fielder easily avoided injury by jumping over the runner, as they have forever. Note that the new rules prohibit sliding at the guy turning two UNLESS he's on the bag. The runner gets to slide at the bag. By extension, sliding in the basepath seems fine. Don't want to be hit, don't be in the basepath. If the fielder swipes at him from just out of his path, he turns two.

The result certainly looks bad and was probably uncomfortable for Edman. I actually do think MLB should probably review and update the rules on fielder/runner confrontation in the basepath. But it's hard to tell a runner he can't be in the basepath or has to give himself up. If he can go around or over, he should be allowed to go under.

tl;dr If this isn't Machado, no one cares. And it's only maybe a 3 or 4 out of 10 on Machado's own scale.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6019372)
Because it's a sufficiently inconsequential play that it wouldn't get highlight-reel coverage if it didn't involve Machado? I don't know, but in addition to the play in #49, here's a play in a Dodgers-DBacks game in which the second baseman is taken out on basically the same slide.


Wow. That slide looks worse (given he seems to kick up the leg). Do you know when that happened?

There's just no justification for that play to be legal. But given when MLB finally got around to adopting the Posey rule they never did make it illegal to dislodge the ball from the catcher in a blitzkrieg attack (yet prohibits players from using a targeted strike the way Arod did), the rules governing play will continue to be stupid.

And for the record here, it's probably true we only heard of this because it's Machado. It certainly has no bearing on my opinion on the play. It's crap. And I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone's given a defense for why it should be legal other than it's legal.
   60. Darren Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6019374)
But if you have a problem with that, that's OK, because it's still legal. If you've read the rule to understand what a bona fide slide is, you should keep reading because the rule eventually says "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."


Not to pick on VI, specifically, as he made a great post explaining the details of this rule. But it seems to me that there has to be a common sense limit here somewhere. Yes, the contact was caused by the fielder moving into the basepath. But Machado dropped down, sort of slid, and rolled up into his legs.* That seems a bit beyond him just running into the fielder. Would it be okay if Machado slapped at the ball? Punched him in the face? There's a point at which the runner is going too far, and this is pretty close to that.

*Everyone keeps calling this a slide. Watch it again. It's much closer to a rolling block.
   61. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6019375)
Do you know when that happened?


I don't. I can't even tell from the video who the player was. And I agree, that play looks bad. But I honest-to-God had never heard of the existence of the video I linked until it popped up on my Twitter feed.

I think the logic of the play makes sense. The runner's goal there is to make the second baseman have to work for the tag so that the batter can beat the subsequent throw. And by going low, the play has the added benefit of potentially avoiding the tag altogether - the runner in the link in #57 continued on to second and the video shows both the first-base and second-base umpires calling the respective runners safe. But certainly, where and how the runner goes down can lead to lots of opportunities for potentially bad things to happen to the second baseman.
   62. SoSH U at work Posted: May 18, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6019380)
I think the logic of the play makes sense. The runner's goal there is to make the second baseman have to work for the tag so that the batter can beat the subsequent throw. And by going low, the play has the added benefit of potentially avoiding the tag altogether - the runner in the link in #57 continued on to second and the video shows both the first-base and second-base umpires calling the respective runners safe. But certainly, where and how the runner goes down can lead to lots of opportunities for potentially bad things to happen to the second baseman.


As said above, I think it's perfectly fine for players to slide to avoid tags. But players should never be allowed to physically attack defenders. It just ridiculous MLB continues to allow this to happen.

And maybe, if there was some consistency and coherence to the rules, then "hey it's legal" would be somewhat understandable. But there aren't.

You are allowed to run through a catcher or second baseman in the basepath in an attempt to dislodge the ball from him. You aren't allowed to slap at his arm with the same objective.

There are very specific rules governing how you're allowed to take out the second baseman with a slide at the base. But in the middle of the paths, where players don't slide, it's Hal McRae's world of mayhem as the governing principle.

And, I don't know the exact answer to this, but what would have happened if in the 2015 World Series, a faster Salvy Perez managed to hook Lucas Duda's foot at first before he could throw home? Would anyone here defend such a play? I doubt it.
   63. JJ1986 Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6019411)
I can't even tell from the video who the player was.
It doesn't look like him to me, but I think it's Justin Turner who left the Orioles weeks before Showalter showed up there.
   64. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 18, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6019419)
It doesn't look like him to me, but I think it's Justin Turner who left the Orioles weeks before Showalter showed up there.
We know how Showalter feels about players with red hair.

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