Joe Maddon tossed, likens home plate collision rule to Chicago's 'soda tax'

ByJesse Rogers ESPN logo
Sunday, October 15, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- A call at home plate in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night was overturned by video replay due to the plate collision rule, drawing the ire of Chicago Cubs players and manager Joe Maddon, who was ejected for arguing the decision.

Los Angeles Dodgersshortstop Charlie Culberson tried to score from second on a single by Justin Turner and was initially called out by umpire Mike Winters for not touching home plate after evading Willson Contreras' tag. The Dodgers challenged the call on the grounds that Contreras broke rule 7.13, which states "unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe."

After a video review, it was determined that Contreras blocked the plate before he received the ball. The overturned call gave the Dodgers a cushion run in their 5-2 victory.

Afterward, Maddon voiced his displeasure -- not with the umpires but with the rule itself.

"I could not disagree more with the interpretation of that," Maddon said. "I think it's wrong. I think anybody that's played major league or even minor league baseball will agree with me 100 percent on that."

The rule in question was instituted prior to the 2014 season.

"The umpires did everything according to what they've been told," Maddon stated. "From Day 1, I've disagreed with the content of the rule. ... That was a beautifully done major league play that gets interpreted tantamount to the soda tax in Chicago. ... All rules or laws aren't necessarily good ones."

Pitcher John Lackey, who gave up the hit to Turner, has long believed that baseball is going in the wrong direction with some of its new rules.

"That's straight from New York," Lackey said. "We [Lackey and the umpires] had a discussion on how soft baseball is getting."

Maddon said Contreras "did everything right" and added that there was nothing he could have done differently.

"I think we need to go to Walmart, get some toys and then play," Contreras said sarcastically. "It was an amazing play. The ball took me to that position."

Said Lackey: "It's sad. It's sad the direction our game has gone. Textbook play by the kid, and he got penalized for it."

After the replay led to the call being overturned, Maddon stormed out of the dugout and began to argue. Winters, the crew chief, let him make a brief case before tossing him.

Said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: "I looked at just like everyone else looked at it, and as the rule states, he was in violation."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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