(CBS) Baseball’s home plate collision rule created its biggest fireworks yet last night.
After Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton threw the Reds’ Zack Cozart out by a good five feet at home plate to seemingly end the top of the eighth inning and preserve Miami’s 1-0 lead, the call was overturned and Cozart was ruled safe due to the new rule that states a catcher can’t block the plate without the ball. If he does, the runner is awarded home.
While Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis was between Cozart and the plate, he easily had the ball by the time Cozart arrived. It surely felt like an out, but it was evidently against the letter of the law. It was a crucial call too, as it tied the game at 1-1 and then the Reds followed with two more runs in the inning en route to a win.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond was incensed and ejected for arguing. He later termed the call “a joke.”
On Friday, MLB defended the call in a statement.
“The replay official judged that the catcher did not provide a lane to the runner and hindered his path to the plate without possession of the ball,” MLB’s statement said. “The throw also did not force the catcher into the runner’s pathway. As a result, in accordance with Rule 7.13, the ruling on the field was overturned and the run was allowed to score.
“We realize that people may reasonably have different opinions regarding the application of Rule 7.13 in any particular instance because it is a judgment call. We are continuously evaluating the application of the new rule, and we anticipate a full review with all appropriate parties in the off-season in order to determine whether any changes should be made. We also recognize that the exorbitant length of last night’s review, which was more than three times the season average, must be avoided in the future.”
Take a look for yourself.