The Cleveland Guardians managed to come away with a much needed 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field Friday night. Unfortunately the final result of the contest is not the focus as controversy took center stage.
Leading off the bottom of the 4th was Brayan Rocchio and it appeared that he managed to come through with a double to put the Guardians in position to break a 2-2 tie. That was not the case as nonsense won out over logic.
While Rocchio was sliding into second, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson applied the tag to his arm. In the process after successfully reaching second, Anderson’s tag resulted in Rocchio’s hand leaving the base momentarily. Chicago challenged and was successful despite the rules clearly stating that this is not a valid way to tag a player out.
Additionally, the process that led to Rocchio being called out, Anderson essentially shoving his hand off the base, is not reviewable. Guardians manager Terry Francona argued the absurdity of the series of events that took place resulting in his ejection from the game.
This is just the most recent example of the shortcomings of the review process, not just in baseball but all sports. The fact that certain aspects of a play are considered non-reviewable, especially when they are a violation of the rules of the game, is pure balderdash.
If the officiating crew and those in charge of the review process in New York are not going to call things correctly there is no reason to continue playing the game.
Francona should have pulled his team from the field and took a stand against absurdity reigning supreme. It is not about winning or losing, it is about the principle of the situation at hand. The rules that are in place provide a structure that orchestrates the way the game is supposed to be played and those were promptly thrown into the refuse bin Friday night.
Every manager on every ball club should be instructing his players to do exactly what Anderson did. Forcefully apply tags resulting in them no longer having contact with the base and thus being called out. As absurd as that sounds, the standard has now been set and this is how the game should be approached moving forward. Major League Baseball set the precedent with their decision and now is the time to play the game according to how they will officiate it as any and all logic has gone out the window. Your move MLB.