Pro Rules: Does a Runner Have to Slide to Avoid an Interference Call?
The July 24, 2021, the Padres-Marlins game ended with the automatic double play when a Replay Review overturned a call on the field involving an illegal running violation.
In the top of the ninth the Padres trailing 3-2, had Trent Grisham on first and one out when Wil Myers, facing Yimi Garcia, hit a ground ball to second baseman Isan Díaz who tossed to shortstop Miguel Rojas to start a game-ending 4-6-3 DP. Rojas barehanded the ball, touched second and attempted a jump throw to first. Grisham didn’t slide going into second and ran into Rojas, whose throw got away from first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
The Marlins challenged that Grisham had violated the illegal slide rule and Myers should be called out as well. Second base umpire Brian Knight made no call on the play.
The Replay Official citing rule 6.01 (j) overturned the “no call” and ruled that Grisham failed to engage in a bona-fide slide which hindered and impeded Rojas. The game ended with the Marlins holding on for a 3-2 win.
Expert Interpretation by Rich Marazzi
- In my opinion the Replay official properly overturned the “no call.”
- The Replay Official cited rule 6.01 (j), that governs sliding regulations. But this play did not involve a slide. It’s possible that the Replay Official interpreted the language of an illegal slide that requires a “bona fide slide” when a runner is going to second base on a force play. But a runner can go into the base standing as long as he doesn’t hinder the fielder from making a play.
- In my opinion, the safest and most effective slide to put pressure on middle infielders is the pop-up slide as long as the runner maintains body control.
- In the above play, it appeared Grisham, who went in standing up, lost control of his body when he crashed into Rojas.
- In my opinion rule 6.01 (a) (5) would be a better fit for the above play. The rule reads, “It is interference by a batter or a runner who has just been put out, or by any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate.
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Rich is clear that a runner can go into second base standing up as long as he doesn’t impede or hinder a following play,
R-1 was out, and has no right to hinder a throw to a teammate for the purpose of making a play. I have intentional interference on a retired runner; Batter/ runner is out, and all other runners return to their time of pitch base.
Not sure I agree with #4 and therefore #5. The runner took the direct path to the base and appears to me to be stopping at the base and not losing control of his body. The defensive player’s momentum took him into the runner and by leaping has lost body control. Had he not had the stutter step and used his left foot to touch the base while traveling diagonally across the bag rather than directly at the runner he would have avoided the collision. The runner did not go out of his way in any attempt to interfere in my opinion.
Using the reasoning of #4, a player sliding into the base but attempting to take out the feet of the defensive player would almost always result in the ruling of the runner at first being out since he would have already been called out. A slide would be loss of control of the body since once a slide starts, little can be done to change the direction. Runners whose feet or arms go away from the base and strike the defensive player could be deemed as hindering a throw regardless of whether they touch the bag since they would already be out.