Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Video: Phillies get a double play thanks to an illegal slide by Kevin Pillar

19 Comments

The Blue Jays led the Phillies 4-0 and were threatening more runs with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third inning against Aaron Nola. Darwin Barney hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play to shortstop Freddy Galvis, who flipped to second baseman Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez leaped to avoid an incoming Kevin Pillar, making a weak and late throw to first base. A run scored and Barney was safe at first base.

The Phillies challenged the call, however, and the ruling was overturned, giving the Phillies an inning-ending double play after all.

Here’s the slide:

[mlbvideo id=”822351283″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Here’s another video with a better angle. And here’s a good screen capture:

pillarslide

Baseball’s new slide rule, Rule 6.01(j), a bona fide slide is defined as:

making contact with the ground before reaching the base, being able to and attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, being able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide (except at home plate) and not changing his path for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

One can make a tenuous claim that Pillar attempted to stay on the base. Pillar certainly curled his body up in an attempt to interfere with Hernandez.

Many will complain about baseball becoming wimpy with rules designed to protect the fielders. I, for one, think the sport is headed in the right direction when defenseless infielders don’t have to worry about 200-plus pounds of human flesh and bone speeding towards them in an attempt to prevent a double play. The less we have incidents like the ones that involved Ruben Tejada, Alex Avila, and Buster Posey, the better.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
11 Comments

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”