Major League Baseball declares Anthony Rizzo slide to be illegal


While he said Rizzo isn't a dirty player, he complained that Rizzo broke Rule 7.13, which was instituted on an experimental basis in 2014 and anecdotally called "The Buster Posey Rule".

That's actually in line with past rulings concerning similar plays. "The rule exists to protect that catcher ..."

So the Padres and their fans and broadcasters have every right to be upset.

Rizzo told reporters after the game that he's talked to a lot of umpires about the rule and to his understanding, "if they have the ball, it's game on". The rule exists to protect him. It's clear, watching that video, that Rizzo went to his left to collide with Hedges, when he had a perfectly clear route to the plate to his right that wouldn't have involved crashing into the backstop. He's expected to miss a few days, but hasn't been put on the disabled list. Home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson did not invoke Rule 6.01 (i), as Hedges had held on to the ball and Rizzo was declared out. "I think it's absolutely asinine to even take that approach".

The Padres were upset, with manager Andy Green calling it a "cheap shot".

That retaliation may not come.

The Cubs (35-34) beat the Padres for the first time this season after three losses last month in San Diego.

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Those comments from Green make it seem like the matter is closed. But here's something more fun to consider: "a healthy Rizzo is one of the best hitters in the league no matter where he bats, and if the Cubs" younger hitters can get going, this is a team that could continue to mash for a while. That type of vigilante justice seems to be what sparked the brawl between Hunter Strickland and Bryce Harper in May.

"It's not your prototypical lead off the game", said Rizzo. It is, however, worth noting that Rizzo has been hit by quite a few pitches during his career.

Kyle Schwarber was slated to start but he has struggled, Ben Zobrist has taken some time in that spot but has had wrist issues and is now on the disabled list, and rookie Ian Happ had played a few weeks in the lead off spot but had ups and downs, and Jon Jay has batted a few times at the top but is not an everyday starter. He once again leads the way in 2017, with 12 hit by pitches.

Rizzo is ultra-competitive and wants to win.

Green, careful to note he was not accusing Rizzo of being a dirty player generally, was incensed Rizzo had flattened catcher Austin Hedges on a play at the plate, in arguable contravention of Rule 7.13, enacted to protect catchers from violent collisions with base runners.

Will Rizzo get suspended for this play? "By all means, I hope he's all right". He doesn't get fined or suspended.

Regardless of if Hedges was injured or not, the Padres do have a strong case in being upset by the play. If a catcher is blocking the plate, why should a player just lay down and slide into a catcher's shinguards and risk injury to himself?