The biggest problem with Rule 7.13? Tick-tock, tick-tock.
Okay, so here’s a play from Thursday night. You don’t have to watch the whole video. Actually, I recommend that you don’t, because the last three-plus minutes are the same replay shown ad infinitum. Just the first two minutes should get it done …
This one’s pretty obvious, right? Before the catcher has the ball, he’s straddling the plate but leaves plenty of room for the sliding baserunner. After he’s got the ball, he takes away most of the plate. Even then, there’s room for the runner to touch the plate, and in fact the play is exceptionally close because the runner does nearly touch the plate before he’s tagged (in fact, I’m not completely convinced he should have been out; probably, though).
So, textbook. Everybody did everything right. The catcher played it right — oh, and remember when experts were saying catchers couldn’t learn to do these things during the season? — and the runner did what he’s supposed to do. Good clean baseball, just the way Abner Doubleday drew it up.
I don’t have a problem with the appeal. Hard to see these things clearly in real time, and of course it’s an important play. So far we’re all good.
Until the appeal process lasts four-and-one-half minutes. Which is simply unacceptable. When a play like this stops the game for nearly five minutes, someone in New York’s not doing their job well. It’s almost August, so Amateur Hour’s almost over.