Video: Billy Hamilton collides with Angel Hernandez, steals base anyway

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Let’s go over what does and does not constitute a major league playing field. The basepaths? Yes. Foul territory? Yes. Angel Hernandez? Yes.

Umpires, like bases or AstroTurf, are technically considered part of the field according to the official MLB rulebook, something Billy Hamilton learned the hard way when he plowed into Hernandez during the seventh inning of Saturday’s Reds-Cardinals game.

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Reliever Miguel Socolovich missed the tag at first base, and Hamilton attempted to stretch his single into a double when the collision occurred. Since the rules also stipulate that contact with an umpire automatically awards the runner a base, Hamilton was ruled safe at first after scrambling back to the bag. To his credit, Angel Hernandez appeared to make a good faith effort to get out of the way, but, like the rest of us, wasn’t nearly as fast as the Reds’ star baserunner.

In the end, the play had no adverse effect on Cincinnati’s chances of winning: Hamilton stole second during Zack Cozart’s at-bat and the Reds went on to clinch the game 9-1 after a five-run eighth inning.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.