Benches cleared for a bustling group therapy session after Rougned Odor tried and failed to break up a game-ending double play Friday night by sliding in wide and with his spikes up on the relay from Andrelton Simmons:
Odor was adamant after the game that he “made a clean slide,” but the replays pretty clearly show his spikes finding Simmons’s shin, and it’s obvious he aims his route to second wide in order to interfere with the relay. The relevant part of Rule 6.01(j) is part 4, which says a runner has to slide at the base “without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.” It was for sure an illegal slide, whatever you happen to think of old-school takeout slides, before we even get to the danger of going in spikes up.
Not surprisingly, Rangers manager reportedly described the slide as appropriate. On the other hand:
No remotely honest interpretation of the rules would describe that as appropriate. This is the second takeout slide in a week to lead to beef between teams, after Anthony Rizzo’s takeout slide at home broke up a double play and hurt Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. MLB rules now pretty clearly define a legal slide, and pretty clearly only permit “bona fide” slides, but the takeout slide is still very much a part of the game.