It’s been a tempestuous 24 hours for Padres and Cubs fans, with the San Diego crowd angry that their young star and dreamboat, Austin Hedges, got totally bulldozed by Anthony Rizzo in a play deemed illegal by MLB. Meanwhile in Wrigleyville, baseball’s ascendant villains worried about retaliation from the Friars and defended their guy with a resounding cry of “Nuh-uh!” Well, Andy Green put some of those concerns to rest in an interview with 1090’s Darren Smith today.
Green is a younger, more modern manager, so it’s no surprise that he sees retaliatory beanballs as a pointless waste of time. And he’s right! Throwing a baseball at someone on purpose is dumb and bad and nobody should do it. Meanwhile, Rizzo won’t be facing any official discipline, either.
#Cubs Rizzo talked to Joe Torre today re play at plate. No discipline for Riz.— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 20, 2017
And that’s fine, really. Rizzo doesn’t have a history of doing this, and there’s no sign of malice. A slap on the wrist would have been nice, but knowing the Cubs were in the wrong is a bit of justice unto itself.
There is, however, someone who MLB really does need to get serious with. Someone in a position of authority who holds the retrograde belief that baseball should be a contact sport and trying to mitigate injuries is a waste of time.
Here's Joe Maddon on the Rizzo play: "Absolutely loved it. That's part of the game. If the catcher's in the way, you hit him."— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) June 20, 2017
Yep. Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks barreling through catchers is just fine, and who cares if someone breaks a leg. This is a dangerously irresponsible attitude to hold, let alone espouse publicly, and if MLB is actually serious about keeping catchers safe, they need to put Maddon in his place before he teaches any more young baseball players that they should think of the guy at home plate as a tackling dummy.
There won’t be any punishment for Maddon, of course, but hopefully someone can remind him why the Posey Rule exists before another player gets their leg broken.