WAY OFF BASE

Baseball has a rule called interference. 

But baserunners are allowed to slide well beyond the 2nd base bag.

Runners should utilize a slide to make a tag harder to apply, or to slow themselves down.

But the only reason to slide beyond the bag is to interfere with the defender’s ability to complete the play.

For what reason is this allowed?

If a runner makes contact with a fielder who is making a play on the batted ball, the runner is ruled out.

But once a fielder has the ball near the base, the runner is allowed to set fire to his MCLs.

Why did we disdain the Cobra Kais for sweeping the leg, but dismiss baseball’s version as a “good, hard slide”?

Or my personal favorite:  “That’s baseball”.

Oh, thanks for the clarity, grandpa.

Is it baseball though?

Can runners do the same thing to the 1st baseman as he catches an infielder’s throw for a force out?  If there’s another baserunner headed toward 3rd base during the throw, it would be of great value to the offense if the batter-runner hit the landing gear and put the 1st baseman on his backside.

Catchers are safe too, as runners are no longer incentivized by the pre-historic, medically defiant home plate collision.   (That this was once encouraged is right up there with cigarettes being advertised as doctor approved.  We evolve, and so can baseball.)

But middle infielders are fair game.  Some of the sport’s most gifted athletes and glovesmiths are free game for any barreling runner who himself is out by three steps.

Their knees are either airborne, or perpendicular to the oncoming traffic.

The National FOOTBALL League regulates hits below the knees.

Tackle Football.

They value the knees of their assets.

And in related news, after a hard slide, that runner tends to have to wear a 95mph fastball as a penance of his misdeed the next time he steps to the plate.

So, wait, it wasn’t good, hard baseball??

And then, of course, we’re going to hit one of your guys, since you hit one of ours.

And then….

Baseball goes too far.

Literally.

 

2 thoughts on “WAY OFF BASE”

  1. The runner has a right to the base and to not assume the play will be made by the defense at his base. The runner also has the responsibility to get out of the way of the possible throw from the infielder. Contact should not be eliminated from the game, but I do think a rule like the runner’s feet must cross over the bag and his body be perpendicular to the base would make sense.

    The next step if you regulate this, is to remove the “neighborhood” play.

    1. I agree that the neighborhood play isn’t ideal, but it’s the lesser of two evils as it at least doesn’t endanger players. Regulating it alone would lead to more knee shrapnel on the field. Or has it already (replay)?

      I’d like to see runners have to slide directly into the base, and complete their stop maintaining the same point of contact with the base–hands (headfirst) or feet.

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