(CBS) Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and manager Joe Maddon believed that a home plate collision between Rizzo and Padres catcher Austin Hedges on Monday night was legal and within the rules, while San Diego manager Andy Green objected.
MLB sided with the Padres, but there will be no discipline for Rizzo.
MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre discussed the situation with Rizzo on Tuesday, telling him he violated Rule 7.13, which reads in part: “A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher.” However, Torre also relayed the message that no discipline is forthcoming, Rizzo told reporters. No player has ever been suspended for a violation of this rule.
The play occurred during the sixth inning of the Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Padres. Rizzo was tagging up from third base on a lineout to center field by Kris Bryant and came forcefully through Hedges, who had dropped to his knees after fielding the throw from Matt Szczur. Rizzo was out on the play.
Green referred to it as a “cheap shot” after the game, with the Cubs objecting to that thought. Maddon spoke Tuesday with the Spiegel & Parkins Show and was asked if he expected any discipline.
“Why would there be?” Maddon replied.
Maddon defended the play immediately after the game and added to his thoughts Tuesday.
“First of all, to call it a dirty play is absolutely wrong,” Maddon said. “It’s not a dirty play. That’s something people have been taught to say based on this ambiguous rule that’s been created. I’ll concede that part of it. But it’s not a dirty play. So whoever’s saying that, just please drop that narrative, because that’s not true. If you look at it really closely, the catcher starts moving toward Anthony as he catches the ball, as he’s supposed to. I have no idea what Anthony’s supposed to do in an attempt to be safe. The object is to score a run and be safe, and I think Anthony’s best method of doing that was to do what he did do.
“So again, it’s just crazy, stuff that we’ve initiated in our culture.”
Maddon added it would be “egregious” if the Padres elected for retaliation to the play in Tuesday’s game, which has a first pitch at 7:05 p.m. from Wrigley Field. Green used that same word to describe the play.