On Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, White Sox manager Robin Ventura channeled his inner Lou Pinella after the worst rule in the history of baseball gave the Giants a free run, contributing to San Fran's 7-1 victory over Chicago.
This is your standard baseball play. A runner on third with less than two outs (in this case Gregor Blanco)...the batter hits a ground ball to 1st...the fielding 1st baseman (in this case Jose Abreu) comes home to get the charging runner...the runner is tagged out by the catcher (in this case Tyler Flowers).
Things in baseball aren't so simple anymore.
I loved Robin Ventura as a player and I also like him as a major league manager. The White Sox have some key pieces in place to build something strong and I hope the Chicago management team has patience with him to keep him around for the long haul.
But back to the reaction...great job by Ventura by kicking dirt all over home plate. Major League umpires take great pride in keeping home plate clean, and this move is a direct slap in the face to the boys in blue. The dirt kicking protest was, of course, make famous by former big league manager Lou Pinella but has become a go-to move for managers everywhere.
As for the rule in question with this White Sox/Giants game on Wednesday, plain and simple...it's absolutely ridiculous.
When Major League Baseball banned the home plate collision during the off-season they attempted to put another rule in place the give the base-runner a better chance of scoring on close plays. They took away the runner's ability to knock the ball loose, so at the same time they decided to take away the catcher's ability to block home plate and impede the runner in any way.
The problem is that the rule is being called inconsistently, the catchers have been trained their entire careers (since they were five-years old) how to properly catch a throw from a fielder and that involves putting their left leg in the right-hand batter's box, and the instant replay system is adding an even more unfair wrinkle into the issue.
Major League Baseball will say that catchers simply have to adjust and get used to not being able to impede the runner in any way, but that's not baseball. It's not fair to expect a catcher to stand in front of home plate and attempt to tag a runner with a swipe tag.
If I were a third base coach right now I'd be waving everybody home. 9 times out of 10 the catcher is going to do something that the replay official will decide is now illegal.
Hopefully, Selig and his competition committee will look at the rule in the off-season...I just hope it doesn't rear it's ugly head during the playoffs and cost a team a series.
*** Follow us on social media for exclusive content that you won't find here on Pro Sports Daily.
Facebook: PSD Redzone