Robin Ventura blows a gasket after home-plate collision rule costs White Sox

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

About every other week you can count on baseball's new home-plate collision rule — aka, the Buster Posey rule — to be at the center of a controversy. Like clockwork, it reared its ugly head again on Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, and this time it was the Chicago White Sox who were left both dumbfounded and livid.

It happened in the seventh inning with Chicago holding a slim one-run lead. With one out and runners at the corners, San Francisco's Joe Panik hit a broken bat grounder that first baseman Jose Abreu charged and brought home knowing that he had no chance at a double play. The throw was in plenty of time and the runner Gregor Blanco was easily tagged out, but it was determined on replay that catcher Tyler Flowers violated Rule 7.13 by planting his foot in front of home before he had possession of the baseball.

Nevermind the fact that Blanco was still 15-20 feet up the line when he caught it, the rule was enforced and Blanco was awarded the plate, giving San Francisco's its first run of the game.

Naturally, this did not humor White Sox manager Robin Ventura. He immediately stormed out of the dugout and went on a dirt-kicking tirade that rivaled any dirt-kicking tirade we've ever seen.

The best part of Ventura's tirade is that he didn't hesitate to go back and kick dirt on home plate a second time after his first attempt didn't net the desired results.

Of course, Ventura was already ejected at that point, and he's probably thankful he didn't have to stick around and watch how the rest of the inning played out. After the next batter, Brandon Crawford, flew out for what would have been the final out of the inning, the next five Giants' batters reached base leading to six more runs and an eventual 7-1 win.

That inning included another relatively close play at home that saw Flowers making sure he set up camp in front of the plate. That led to White Sox play-by-play man Hawk Harrelson commenting that it's only a matter of time before catchers are wearing skirts.  

Another uncomfortable and unfortunate choice of words by Harrelson, who seems to have replaced his once entertaining outbursts with straight awkward and at times offensive sound bytes. 

Needless to say, it was an all-around frustrating inning for Chicago. And adding to the frustration is the fact that a similar play occurred in Tuesday night's game with Posey catching. However, on that play, the umpires determined that Posey didn't violate the rule and the Chicago baserunner was ruled out.

It's troubling that so much confusion and inconsistent interpretations of the rule still exist at this point in the season. The league said as recently as two weeks ago that it intends on looking into changes during the offseason. At this point, everyone would probably like to see that process sped up, with a hopeful eye towards a resolution before this rule overshadows or outright alters the outcome of a postseason game.  

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!