I was just trying to enjoy a very late dinner and lick my wounds due to the absolute thumping a football team I’m a coach for just received. Just trying to ease into Sunday where I could relax and watch the NFL, get involved in fantasy football and of course watch Miami get housed by Atlanta. And then as I’m sort of paying attention to the Cubs Dodgers game, this ridiculous play happens. Mind you, I couldn’t care less who wins. I just care about what’s right in this world.
And here’s what the written baseball rule book says about this:
- A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).
- Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.
Look, I’m a man who lives his life by abiding by the rules and laws that society has created. Though no one ever asked me my thoughts on any of the laws of the land when they were creating them, I still put my head down and move through life listening to what they say because even though I may not agree with many of them, I know that regulations are there to keep the world balanced. Without rules there would be chaos and I’m in no way an agent of chaos. But what happened here in game 1 of the NLCS is just plain wrong. Did it change the outcome of the game? Probably not. Did common sense take a back seat tonight? Absolutely. The rule, which was made in 2014 because Buster Posey got his ankle shattered during a play at the plate, was designed to stop collisions at the plate. I can get behind that. No problem here. But what happened with this particular play is that the ball wasn’t in the catcher’s glove when his foot was blocking the plate. If the ball was there another 0.2 seconds earlier this would have been fine. I know what I’m saying can be looked at as if you allow this play to be legal than you’re opening the door for more collisions at the plate. That doesn’t have to happen. Would it be so wrong if the umps convened, looked at the replay and then realized this wasn’t a collision, that a great play by the catcher was made? I know I sound like the old guy yelling at a cloud and prefacing stories with “back in my day” but I’m for safety in sports. But this had nothing to do with safety regardless of how people will try and tell me that the rule is in place to prevent something bad happening.
I wish sports would go the route of Rick and Morty and come up with the “pretty obvious if you think about it” rule. You would have your regular rules that we have today but when a replay happens and you use common sense and can obviously see that this rule which technically may apply to the situation simply is not what is happening because you have eyes gets overridden and logic would prevail. Like all those Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant catches that were ruled not to be catches but everyone with a set of eyeholes knows they were catches. The “pretty obvious if you think about it” rule would step right in and over rule the rule. I think we as a society can be responsible with that.