Blame Scott Cousins. When the then-Florida Marlins journeyman barreled into San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey on a play at the plate in 2011 (causing one of baseball's bright young stars to miss the rest of that season with a leg injury), MLB was forced to take a hard look at how it approached plate collisions. The solution? Rule 7.13, which was instituted earlier this year during spring training.
The new rule was front and center at PNC Park during the third inning of a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. With the bases loaded and the Reds already up 5-0, pitcher Alfredo Simon squibbed a dribbler to Buccos reliever Stolmy Pimentel. Pimentel was able to track it down and make an athletic play to throw out Devin Mesoraco at the plate for the apparent force out. But after a 3-minute, 33-second video review prompted by Cincinnati manager Bryan Price questioning home plate umpire Mike DiMuro about the moment, the umps ruled Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin blocked the plate. You be the judge.
As you can imagine, the controversial ruling received quite a bit of play on social media.
Russell Martin: "Honestly, I don’t think there’s and adjustment to be made. I think there’s an adjustment to the rule."— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) June 19, 2014
MLB needs to amend the whole blocking home plate rule. Let's call it the Potter Stewart corollary: "I know it when I see it."— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) June 19, 2014
In other words, Russell Martin pretty clearly didn't didn't anything wrong there. Terrible overturn.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) June 19, 2014
The Reds eventually won 11-4.
Pop trolls the King
Moving to NBA news, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich appeared to mock Miami Heat star LeBron James' infamous prediction of how many titles the Big Three would win together during the Spurs' victory parade.
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