The Brewers-Padres game ended … oddly. But I think the umps got it right.


How did the Brewers’ winning streak end? One run down, a man on second and Martin Maldonado being called out for interfering with a ball in fair territory:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this was a botched call as many have said this morning. Yes, Maldonado’s foot is still in the batter’s box when the ball hits him, but my reading of the rule is that he can be out even if only one foot is out of the box, contrary to what the broadcaster said in this clip:

Rule 6.05 says:

6.05 A batter is out when—(g) His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder. If the batter is in a legal positionin the batter’s box, see Rule 6.03, and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was nointention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batteror his bat shall be ruled a foul ball…

Rule 6.03, defining the legal position in the box says:

The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box.

Thus, if only one foot is in the box, he is no longer legally in the box, thus he would be out. This, in effect, is no different than if a batted ball struck him running between first and second.

I get why Ron Roenicke was mad — it’s a close call and you hate to see a game end like that — but I think the ump got it right.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.