Jon Lester blasts MLB slide rule for making game ‘soft’
Jon Lester and Joe Maddon are no fans of MLB’s new slide rule intended to protect middle infielders, with the pitcher saying it’s an example of making the sport “soft.”
This is the second season that MLB has a new slide rule that penalizes teams an out for using breakup slides. The rule was enacted after Chase Utley injured the Mets’ Ruben Tejada in the 2015 MLB playoffs with this takeout slide at second.
The rule cost the Chicago Cubs a run and out during a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, leaving them upset. Lester said it’s a rule that’s making the game “soft.”
“Baseball has been played for over 100 years the exact same way, and now we’re trying to change everything and make it soft,” Lester said via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “That’s baseball, man. We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now. I’m over this damn slide rule and replaying if it’s too far and all this other B.S. We’re grown men out there.”
Maddon was more critical over the application of the rule. He felt the slide was not done with any malicious intent. He also was critical of the rule in general.
“I have no idea why these rules are part of our game,” Maddon said after the loss. “There was an out created there. That was just one out they did not have to earn. I totally, absolutely disagree with that. It has nothing to do with safety and protecting the middle infielder.”
There is no doubt frustration from the Cubs over their mediocre start to the season, which probably played a role in their anger. But in general, it is frustrating to see a rule like that cost you during a game especially when it’s such a new rule that takes time to get used to.