Major League Baseball has notified the Cubs and San Diego Padres that Anthony Rizzo violated its rule on collisions at home plate, but Rizzo will not face any disciplinary action.
“No discipline coming my way,” Rizzo said. “The league looked at it and it’s over with now.”
MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre told Rizzo the collision violated Rule 7.13 that states “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate)…”
Rizzo batting leadoff for the Cubs has become a nice sideshow to see whether their slugging first baseman can keep his streak of first-inning perfection alive.
Rizzo has reached base in all six first-inning plate appearances as Cubs leadoff hitter — via two home runs, a double, a single, bunt single and walk. And if talk out of San Diego rings true, the most-hit batter in the big leagues might find a new way to reach base in the first inning tonight.
The Padres are still smarting after Rizzo crashed into catcher Austin Hedges, sending him out of the game Monday with a bruised right thigh. Rizzo, by the way, was out on the play because a tumbling Hedges held onto the ball.
In today’s San Diego Union-Tribune, revenge seems fresh on the mind of those Padres who felt Rizzo pulled off a dirty hit on the controversial collision. This is how reporter Dennis Lin’s account of the game ended:
“The tension sparked in the sixth, however, seemed likely to carry over into the next day.
” ‘We don’t feel good about the way that play transpired,’ [manager Andy] Green said.”
For his part, Rizzo immediately defended his actions.
“I don’t, by no means, think that’s a dirty play at all,” Rizzo said. “It was a hard slide. I play this game hard. For 162 games-plus, I pride myself on running the bases hard, doing everything hard. So I can’t see that being dirty.”
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to start tonight for the Padres. Rizzo is 4-for-8 with a home run during his career against Chacin. It should be noted that Chacin has never hit Rizzo with a pitch. Expect tensions to be extra high tonight at Wrigley.
The Padres were clearly upset with Rizzo. He came up one more time Monday, in the seventh inning with two runners on base and the Padres trailing by one run — so the timing wasn’t right for any purpose pitches.
Rizzo told David Kaplan on ESPN 1000 Tuesday that he wouldn’t put it past the Padres to retaliate.
“Of course I feel like they’re going to have to do something. It’s a hard play that they see it differently,” Rizzo said. “But what are you going to do? What am I going to do — go up there scared?”
Judging from Twitter on Monday night, Padres watchers are not over this thing.