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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Joe Maddon defends Anthony Rizzo over accusations of dirty slide

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was at the center of controversy on Monday, and manager Joe Maddon was not having it.

Rizzo slid into Pirates catcher Elias Diaz on a force play at home and appeared to go well out of the baseline to try to prevent the catcher from making an accurate throw to first. It worked — Diaz threw the ball into right field and the Cubs went up 5-0, and though the play was reviewed under MLB’s slide rules, it was upheld.

Maddon defended his first baseman after the game, saying it was silly to have even needed a review.

Rizzo himself claimed that some Pirates players had told him they had no issue with the slide.

The Cubs and Pirates have rather extensive history, so we’ll see what Pittsburgh’s players think. That said, it’s hard to see Maddon’s point here. Rizzo was a long way from home plate and the slide was dangerous at best.

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