Here’s why Anthony Gose wasn’t out on that wide slide last night

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In the top of the sixth inning of last night’s Tigers-Nationals game Anthony Gose slid toward Danny Espinosa in an attempt to break up a double play. Espinosa’s throw to first was late and, as a result, a run scored. Gose never touched second base or even attempted to grab it with an outstretched arm.

The slide was reviewed and Gose was held not to have violated the rule, despite the fact that he didn’t, by any conceivable measure, make a “bona fide slide” as the rule requires. Why? Chris Iott of MLive spoke to an MLB official and this is what he was told:

“Even though the judgment was that runner failed to engage in a bona fide slide, the Replay Official must still find that the runner’s actions hindered and impeded the fielder’s ability to complete a double play. In the absence of the hindering/impeding element — which is a judgment call — the runner cannot be found to have violated 6.01 (j). The judgment on this one was that there was no hindering or impeding of the fielder.”

The “hindering/impeding” part is not in the new slide rule. It would appear that it’s an interpretive gloss placed on the rule by officials after the fact. Which is interesting because the whole point of the new rule seemed to be aimed at taking away any sort of subjective judgment and trying hard to make a “slide” an easily defined thing. Which was dumb, but that’s what it set out to do.

Here’s hoping judgment, rather than blind adherence to a rule and an effort to make that which requires some subjectivity into something purely objective, is allowed to come to to fore more often.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.