Last year, nobody cares much about the way Anthony Gose slid in at second base in the video above. Oh, there'd probably have been some bickering from the Nationals. By the letter of the law, even past law, a runner was supposed to be able to touch the bag while sliding into second. Not that anyone cared until somebody got their leg broke in a playoff game.
Sure, you know the arguments here about takeout slides and baseball machismo and playing the game the right way but those only apply when your team's the one up to bat. That's the way sports work.
Gose slid outside the base path in the sixth inning in an attempt to break up what would have been an inning-ending double play. Instead the batter, Andrew Romine, was safe at first, the run scored, and the Tigers led 5-4.
Naturally the Nationals wanted a review
RULE 6.01(j) - SLIDING TO BASES ON DOUBLE PLAY ATTEMPTS
If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01.
Attempts to make contact to break up a double play? Check.
But was it a "bona fide" slide?
A ''bona fide slide'' for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:
(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
(2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;
(3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and
(4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
Nope! Gose made no attempt to touch second base.
The rule only said the runner should be out, right?
If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.
Well, OK then.
So why was Romine safe?
Who knows. If we're being practical, what Gose did at second base didn't affect the throw at all, so calling Romine out would have seemed pretty stupid. But by the rules, Romine should have been out ,and the Tigers scored two runs they shouldn't have. Alas, right now ...