In the top of the fourth inning of Saturday’s 9-1 win over the Dodgers, with men on first and second, Diamondbacks third baseman Deven Marrero smoked a ball to deep left center, where it cleared the wall and became a dinger. But the box score will not remember it as a three-run dinger; instead it will be recorded forever as a two-run single, and here’s why:
Catcher Alex Avila was apparently being extra cautious about the ball possibly landing in play, and didn’t start his trot around the bases until Marrero, who’d been watching the ball the whole way, was already a couple steps past him on the base path. According to MLB rules, Marrero is automatically ruled out for passing a teammate on the bases. Bullcrap!
ESPN says Avila felt pretty bad about what happened:
“I definitely owe Deven, taking away a homer from him,” said Avila after the 9-1 win Saturday night. “We’ll talk about what I need to do to make it up to him. It’s something we talk about on a daily basis, trying to be aggressive on tag ups on deep fly balls. It was just a brutal read on my part.”
I would like to propose a change to this rule: if you are running the bases and you pass a teammate, whether because they’re being cautious or because they’re too slow or for any other reason (daydreaming?), the teammate is out. That way Marrero gets to keep his dinger, and rules and order can still define the game. Give the man his dinger!