Miami Marlins Spurned by New Rule

aguthart
May 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) heads back to the dugout after making a pitching change during the the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) heads back to the dugout after making a pitching change during the the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Marlins are really yet to see the new rule about sliding into second base come into play, until last night.

In the top of the 7th, the Rays had bases loaded one out in a tie game against the Miami Marlins. Steven Souza Jr up to bat, hits a dribbler to third. Martin Prado goes to second for one out.

Then something really confusing happens. Kevin Kiermaier does a pop up slide at second going to Dee Gordon. He pops up and catches Gordon at the mid-section.

Then making sure Gordon doesn’t fall over him, Kiermaier tries to catch him basically looking like a linebacker trying to bring down a running back. Gordon held on to the ball, while the Rays score the go ahead run.

It immediately sparked manager Don Mattingly to go out and ask for a review. Kiermaier was deemed safe and this led to confusion.

Under the new rule of 6.01 (j), according to mlb.com, it states:

"“a runner will have to make a “bona fide slide,” which 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.”"

Confusion about the rule.

Kiermaier touches the ground before hitting the base. He also reaches the base with his foot, or else he wouldn’t have been able to pop up.

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The next part of the rule though is what has Marlin fans confused. The rule says you can’t change path for the purpose of contacting the fielder. When Kiermaier popped up, he was right in on Gordon’s mid-section.

Making it a clear a violation of the rule. It’s hard to believe his path during the slide normally goes from parallel to the ground to perpendicular to the ground in one motion. Even without the new rule, wouldn’t this be interference anyways?

If Gordon was to throw the ball it would’ve been wild. So how does any of that slide constitute as legal? It’s all confusing and doesn’t make sense as what is a violation of that rule?

It seems that there might be a lacking of consistency between umpires what’s a violation under this rule. Now, I’m not saying the umpires are doing a bad job. Or they cost the Marlins the game. The Fish only scored two runs and the umps are human just like us.

Next: Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays: Three Stories To Watch

However, if baseball is going to implement new rules, they need to be clear and concise, so players, coaches, and fans aren’t confused when they take place.

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