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Big League Stew

Andrew McCutchen takes issue with Matt Wieters’ block of plate

Big League Stew

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How much effort is too much effort when it comes to a spring training game?

That's the question being posed to us after Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen bristled a bit after Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters blocked his path to the plate during a game on Monday.

McCutchen and Wieters were unhurt on the play — no Ray Fosse-type fate for either — but the burgeoning Bucco was surprised that the O's roadblack was channeling so much Charlie Hustle into his effort.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

McCutchen seemed more surprised than upset by the collision.

"I don't know what (Wieters) was thinking," McCutchen said. "It's spring training. We're not trying to get hurt. I wasn't expecting that much contact. I'm OK, though."

It's hard to see why McCutchen would be surprised in any degree. While there's no denying that you see a fair share of players coasting into second instead of trying for a triple or runners not sliding high to break up a double play, there isn't a hard-and-fast rule for when players try and when they don't. Whether it was a spring training game or not, Wieters was playing catcher. Sometimes that involves making a play at the plate, something that can't be done by standing on the side and trying to take a swipe at one of the quickest players in the league.

Also, as is being pointed out by almost everyone else, why did McCutchen slide if he was uninterested in making contact? There's two bangs in a bang-bang play and McCutchen could have easily withheld one by simply peeling off if he felt the run wasn't that important in the whole scheme of things.

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