Last Tuesday, Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was called out for slide interference on a double play attempt in the ninth inning, resulting in the game ending in a loss against the Rays. There was a lot of controversy over the ruling, but ultimately the correct call was made.
Bautista learned from his mistake. The Jays had the bases loaded in the first inning of Sunday’s game against the Red Sox after Bautista had drawn a walk. Edwin Encarnacion hit a ground ball to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for what seemed like an easy double play. However, Bogaerts had a moment of indecision and quickly fed the ball to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who then fired high to first baseman Hanley Ramirez, allowing a run to score and Encarnacion to reach safely.
What you can see on the replay is that Bautista made certain to slide directly into the bag and held onto it with his hand, making sure there was no chance he would be called for an infraction. Here’s a link to the MLB.com video.
We’ll see more of this as the season goes on — the players will become more familiar with the correct way to slide into the bag and soon it will become second nature.