Joe Maddon thinks Pirates catcher to blame for Anthony Rizzo's slide

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has found an unexpected person to blame after Anthony Rizzo’s takeout slide from Monday’s game. He seems to think Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz was at fault for the whole thing.

Maddon made sure not to say Diaz’s name, but there are multiple instances where he blames the catcher for his “technique.”

Rizzo has come under fire after taking out Diaz in the eighth inning of Monday’s game. With the bases loaded, Rizzo slid into Diaz to try and break up a possible double play. Diaz fell while trying to throw the ball to first to complete the double play. His throw sailed to the outfield, causing two runs to score.

That’s completely Diaz’s fault, according to Maddon. He believes Diaz should have gotten farther away from the plate in order to make the plate. Pictures show Diaz had completely cleared the batter’s box when he tried to throw to first for the double play.

While Maddon thinks Diaz was at fault, the league disagrees. After reviewing the play, Major League Baseball informed the Cubs and Pirates that Rizzo should have been called for interference on the play.

Maddon was quick to come to Rizzo’s defense, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Managers will always back their players. Maddon, however, may have taken things too far with his comments. It’s one thing to say Rizzo was playing hard and it happened in the heat of the moment. It’s another to deny any wrongdoing by Rizzo, while repeatedly suggesting Diaz was at fault.

Tuesday’s game has the potential to provide additional storylines, so it’s possible Maddon won’t have to address Rizzo’s slide moving forward. That might be the best. Maddon didn’t exactly cover himself in glory discussing the issue prior to Tuesday’s game.

Anthony Rizzo’s slide caused plenty of controversy Monday night. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Anthony Rizzo’s slide caused plenty of controversy Monday night. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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