I’ve tried to resist writing this post for a while. My personality is one that I hold safety up pretty high. When I see Babe Ruth and Little League coaches over pitching a player, doing drills or teaching technique that are more likely to cause injury then improve a player, or seeing rules that open up players to getting hurt I have no problem standing up and and making my thoughts heard.
I’m all for safety.
The new slide rule though is taking safety and going about 200 feet to far with it.
When I was growing up I played 2nd base and when I got stronger I moved to shortstop. I loved playing up the middle and on a few occasions got wiped out on double plays, as well as taking out middle infielders a few times trying to turn a double play against my team. I never got hurt or hurt another player other than bruises. I knew injuries were possible and I can see how an injury could happen. That didn’t make me want to change the rules and declare double plays no longer safe because guys could slide into me.
Now I know that there are dirty slides. Guys who would go out of there way, and not any where close to the bag, to take a player out. Those have no place in the game of baseball. Those slides are designed to hurt other players and to me intentionally injuring another player in baseball is 10 times worse than using PED’s.
The new rule is hoping to get rid of those but it may be causing damage to the game of baseball. Middle infielders are now being rewarded for catching a ball and jumping out of the way of a runner. I know it isn’t that simple but really guys don’t have to be as skilled at making the turn at 2nd base to turn double plays.
This year there have been two game ending calls based on the slide rule. The first was Jose Bautista’s slide into second that got called a double play because of what he did. Let me begin by saying I agree with this call, but not because of his slide. His slide was fine to me. He went right across the base and his butt even went over it. The call was a good call because he reached out and grabbed another players ankle. That to me is a big no-no and is an easy double play call for an umpire.
The second game ending call was against the Houston Astros and Colby Rasmus. This one I have issues with. Rasmus didn’t go after a player, was right next to the bag, but he slid past the bag making it a late slide and a rules violation. To go beyond this the Brewers weren’t even trying to to turn a double play.
This season is only two weeks in and already this rule is causing a big stir. I don’t know what changes have to be made to make this rule work better but at some point common sense has to kick in on this rule.