Why Baseball’s New Slide Rule Sparking Controversy Is A Good Thing

04.06.16 3 years ago 7 Comments

We’re just a few days into the MLB season and the league’s new slide rule has already cost one team a game.

With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning of a one-run game, the Toronto Blue Jays saw two runs get negated after Jose Bautista was called for baserunner interference on a slide into second base. As the Tampa Bay Rays tried to turn a double play, they threw the ball away on the throw to first, allowing the potential game-tying and game-winning runs to cross the plate.

But the play was reviewed and, instead of taking a 4-3 lead, the umpires ruled that Bautista had interfered with Logan Forsythe during the turn at second and awarded the Rays a game-ending double play.

slide

Here’s a breakdown of the ruling from MLB.com:

Under the new rule 6.01(j) runners have to make a “bona fide slide,” which involves contact with the ground before reaching the base, attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, and being able to remain on the bag at the completion of the slide.

In this particular case, Bautista appeared to overslide second base and he also reached out with his left hand and made contact with Forsythe’s foot. The replay officials in New York ruled that Bautista’s slide hindered and impeded the fielder and also called for runner interference because he did not remain on the base.

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