Manny Machado’s take out slide of Dustin Pedroia last week has stirred the cauldron of controversy that fingers MLB’s slide rule as the culprit. Pedroia is convinced Machado meant no harm with the spikes high, straight leg slide that forced him from the game and into an MRI machine. Don’t tell that to Boston’s Matt Barnes, who threw a crisp fastball behind Machado’s head later in the game. Barnes has been suspended for four games. Is this baseball? Or is this the result of a MLB rule that needs fine tuning?
Because Pedroia never attempted a throw to first base for a double play, the rule was not invoked. Even Joe Torre got into the discussion but upheld the umpire’s decision not to penalize the Orioles with a double play. According to the rule, there must be a deliberate attempt to turn a double play. Pedroia later admitted he was trying to get just one out. But if the rule was put in place to prevent injury to the covering fielder and this was not considered an illegal slide, then the rule is flawed.
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Watch the Machado–Pedroia play:
Read Rich Marazzi’s analysis of this play and see what rules changes he recommends:
Here is an Insider Report about the Utley – Tejada play that started it all! Includes 5 videos of dangerous MLB slides.