By Ken Reed
Get this: Major League Baseball admitted that the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo violated the home-plate collision rule when he clearly deviated from his path home to plow over San Diego Padres’ catcher Austin Hedges — knocking Hedges out of the game in the process. But at the same time they said they would not penalize Rizzo in any way.
What? Why even have the rule then?
The play occurred on Monday night. Rizzo was on third and tagged on a fly ball to center field. He took off for home on the catch. Hedges was not blocking the plate. He gave Rizzo plenty of the plate to slide into. But when Hedges caught the ball, Rizzo lowered his shoulder and took a couple steps to his left to run over Hedges in an obvious attempt to jar the ball loose. This is exactly the type of dangerous play that led Major League Baseball to disallow catchers from blocking home plate and runners from plowing over catchers. Rizzo could have easily done a hook slide to the outside of the plate to try and score.
Unless runners are penalized for actions like Rizzo’s, MLB’s home-plate safety rule will have no teeth and the safety of players will be compromised.
Padres’ Executive Chairman Ron Fowler is upset with MLB’s chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, who made the decision not to discipline Rizzo.
“Obviously, Rizzo clearly violated the rule,” Fowler said.
“It was probably the most egregious violation since the rule went in, and to do that with no repercussions, I think, is pure BS. I told baseball that.”
Fortunately, for the Cubs, Padres and Major League Baseball in general, Padres manager Andy Green chose not to retaliate for Rizzo’s cheap shot by beaning a Cubs hitter.
“The reality is, when you throw at a guy in retaliation, you’re really not protecting anybody. That’s a simple fact. This is what I’ve always asked: What do you accomplish by hitting somebody?” Green said on The Mighty 1090 radio show. “You accomplish nothing. I think it’s absolutely asinine to even take that approach.”
Bravo Mr. Green. Now there’s one guy that’s discarded the old-school baseball mentality and is thinking coherently about this incident. It certainly isn’t Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who is a progressive thinker on a lot of baseball topics but not this one.
“What he (Rizzo) did was right, absolutely right,” said Maddon. “There’s nothing wrong with that, and nobody can tell me differently.”
Well, you’re wrong Joe. The play was a cheap shot and it was unsafe. Rizzo should receive a significant penalty for his actions.
But Torre chose not to penalize Rizzo and until he grows a spine, he shouldn’t be in charge of making decisions on rules involving player safety.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon