Game Threat: Blue Jays (2-1) @ Rays (1-2)

Jose Bautista and Logan Forsythe
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, he did reach out and touch the guy’s foot.

Last night’s game sure was something else, and it’s kinda nuts that it became hard to notice how good Aaron Sanchez was (read: continued to be) in his first start of the 2016, but that’s what’s going to happen when a game ends on a play like that, and when John Gibbons then makes a sexist comment in its aftermath.

As for those things, Craig Edwards has a very informative piece about Bautista’s slide and MLB’s new rules over at FanGraphs, while at Medium, Sarah Findlay grapples with the Gibbons thing, and really hits the nail on the head.

And as for Sanchez’s performance? Cool! Now let’s get more of the same from Happ and we won’t have to worry about the frustrating end to last night’s tilt.

TV: Sportsnet

Next Game(s): Friday, 7:07 PM ET, vs. Red Sox

And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Jose Bautista(R) RF
Edwin Encarnacion(R) DH
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Chris Colabello(R) 1B
Russell Martin(R) C
Ezequiel Carrera(L) LF
Darwin Barney(R) 2B
LHP JA Happ

Tampa Bay Rays

Logan Forsythe(R) 2B
Brandon Guyer(R) LF
Evan Longoria(R) 3B
Steve Pearce(R) 1B
Desmond Jennings(R) DH
Steven Souza(R) RF
Tim Beckham(R) SS
Kevin Kiermaier(L) CF
Curt Casali(R) C
LHP Matt Moore
  • MikeB

    Either way, the call was a bummer, but I guess Jose did interfere with the guy.

    One thing about the slide though, as it pertains to the old rules. Now, I realize that the (excellent) Fangraphs article did not say that Jose violated the old rule, but many people are (I believe Wilner did on Jays Talk).

    Anyway, under the old rule, if a player slid into the bag on the side, using his hand to touch the bag and his legs to break up the double play “legitimately”, then I’m pretty sure that would never be called as an infraction. But, if, still under the old rule, a player slid into the base and touched the bag with his legs, and broke up the double play with his arms/hands, I’ll bet that would have been way more likely to be called as an infraction. I just find it kind of funny that breaking up a double play was OK if you did it with your legs (which is far more dangerous) than with your arms. But that’s all hypothetical anyway.

    Also, regarding the Fangraphs article, the author states: “If Bautista was not trying to initiate or attempt to make contact with Forsythe, why in the world would he have engaged in a slide that ended with him off the bag?” That’s kind of a false question to ask. As Bautista said himself, he knew he was out. It’s obviously possible and acceptable for a runner to slide past the bag if he knows he’s out without interfering. Maybe the runner wants to slide more carefully and does not want to stop quickly. Who knows?

  • Paul22

    Bautista was in contact with the bag at the time of contact with Forsythe, and while its true he did come off the bag, he had already been called out and the fielder was in the act of throwing the ball so he had no reason to maintain contact (although his slide left him in a position to maintain contact if needed).

    Furthermore, I see no evidence that his contact actually interfered with the throw although thats really a judgement call only the umpire on the field can judge. We see runners who initiate contact with their arms or feet all the time in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielders glove, and how often do we see the IF’ers try and move a runners hand off the bag by pressure exerted on the runners hand with their glove or even knee
    .

    Its just a bad call from a common sense viewpoint and was not anything to do with the intent of the new rule (safety) and its impact was to take away a likely W for the Jays which could be highly significant.

    Also, with MLB an equity shareholder in on line gambling and review umpires based in New York, calls like these that impact games in favor of NY teams look even worse when you consider MLB insists on keeping review umpires who make these calls anonymous.

    I’d rather have no replay if silly crap like this is going to decide games.

    • Steve-O

      Happens all the time. To every team in the league. It’s baseball.

      The Jays were 8th in blown saves in 2015 with 22. The worst offender was Tampa Bay with 27. The best was the Yankees with 12.

      The bullpen is much improved over last year. Look at what happened. Cecil had a rare (for him) meltdown in one (and then that stupid slide rule robbed them of a comeback anyway), and the other was due to the teams’s best relievers not being available. Meh.

      I’d hold off on hitting the panic button, but that’s just me.

  • Bad Dabbler

    I would say this site is dead, but that would be insulting the dead. i mean people visit the graves of the deceased more than people frequent this place apparently.

    what the heck happened. everyone come back.

    im guessing if this were the old place, wed be looking at minimum 300-400 posts for the day.

    we have 11.