Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Does the result matter?

Over this past weekend the beginnings of MLB playoffs are unfolding. One such series going on now is the NLDS between the Dodgers and the NY Mets.

As most of us saw over the weekend we had a play at second base where a player made, at best, a reckless challenge into a second baseman in an attempt to break up the subsequent play to first base. In reality however the sliding player caused the second baseman to break his leg, ending the remainder of his season.

As a result, the player was allowed to continue to play in this game, the play was challenged, put under review, and upheld that the player who slid into second base was safe and in fact did nothing wrong. Subsequent to the game, the sliding player was suspended for (2) games, and that decision is being appealed currently.

Now, without regard to this particular players' history of similar events (which we will deal with later), there are a few burning questions I have:

1. Could the sliding player have been ejected during the game for the conduct?

2. If the second baseman was not injured, could this decision still have been reached?

3. Was it appropriate for the league to step in and issue the suspension?

4. Was the suspension appropriate given the result of the injury?

Now before I get into this, let it be known I am not a baseball guy, so please go easy. This is from a casual reading of the Official Baseball Rules, and frankly my interpretation may be way off ... then again, that is my point.

You can take a good look at the video here from CBS Sports. Do yourselves a favor and turn off the sound so as to not listen to the bozos commenting ... my favorite part was went one of these enlightened ones said by the shortstop turning his back, it made it his fault.

#1: I think the answer is yes that the Baseball Rules support an ejection. That is to say that can do it.
This lies in 8.01(d) and reads:

(d) Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play.

Now the $64,000 question is if this type of behavior is considered unsporting. Look and the video and decide.

Now take a look at this video in which every single player was sent off either straight away or by a 2nd caution:

Not a lot of difference in some cases in my head. At the above are from a sport that expects tackling at some level.

#2: Is a resounding YES!!!!! Why wait for a serious injury to dismiss a player for such reckless play. Umpires in the baseball game could have, as could any soccer referee if such a tackle does not result in an injury.

#3: Joe Torre has to do something before it gets bat crap ugly ... which it still may by the way. Also while Torre cites 5.09 (a) (13) for the cause, I was thinking 6.01 (a) (6) and run the baserunners ass out under 8.01 (d).

#4: Here is the part that really gets my goat. If the player was not injured, or only mildly so the suspension would never have happened. It literally took a broken leg for MLB to do something about this.

I'll say honestly, in a Rule Book that ejects players for corked bats and arguing with an umpire, players seem immune for this kind of bush league crap that had the effect of removing a star player for the remainder of the NLDS. Now did he mean to hurt the player, I doubt it, but that does not factor into the equation. His clearly reckless act of sliding into the back of the plant leg of the fielder should. It was reckless to the nth degree and to me, the player should have been run right there on the spot. Instead, he was actually called safe and allowed to play.

While I am no fan of a lex talonis form of justice in some cases, two games is not nearly enough for this type of intentional play. Intentional to hurt, no. Intentional to break up the play, even in reckless fashion, yes. Let the player sit the rest of the season.

Here is where our bothers in MLB (no sisters yet?) need our help. These guys are simply not capable of determining what a foul like that is, and honestly should get trained as if baserunners are going to do this type of cheap $h!t, umpires should be trained to recognize it and run a player who does something like what we saw the other night.

Oh yeah ... he's done this before too, to the same player. Just look here.

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