Last week, a video review of Jose Bautista’s slide into second base resulted in a game ending double play and a Blue Jays loss.
There are many reasons to question the call. Bautista slid before reaching second base, and Bautista slid directly at the base.
Bautista’s hand touched the second baseman’s foot. However, it is unclear whether this caused the Tampa Bay player to make a throwing error.
The Umpires on the field felt that Bautista’s slide was good, but under super slow motion replay, the slide was ruled illegal.
I have a problem with video review overruling what is a discretionary call on the field. We saw the same controversy in last year’s ALCS game against Texas when the homeplate Umpire clearly called “Time” before the runner on third base crossed the plate.
Although video replays should be used to determine if a tag has been applied or if the runner reaches a base before the infielder has the ball to make a force out or a ball has stayed fair or gone foul, MLB should discard the use of replays on discretionary calls.
It would also be helpful for MLB to revisit the sliding rule as it relates to breaking up a double play.
Following the call against Bautista, former Blue Jay Colby Rasmus was involved in a controversial double play in a Houston game. On his play, no attempt was made to throw the ball to first base. Yet Rasmus’ slide was ruled illegal and two outs were recorded.
Unless there is a blatant attempt by a base runner to injure a fielder and provided the runner slides properly into the base, there should be no reason to give a team an automatic double play.
MLB players are professional athletes. Baseball games should be decided by the pitchers and batters; not by discretionary calls of officials.