Astros News

MLB gets it wrong on suspending Astros’ Marisnick for collision

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 07: Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros collides with catcher Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as he attempts to score in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 07, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Marisnick was called out under the home plate collision rule. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 07: Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros collides with catcher Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as he attempts to score in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 07, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Marisnick was called out under the home plate collision rule. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Major League Baseball wrongly suspended Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick two games for his home plate collision with Jonathan Lucroy.

When Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick and Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy collided at home plate on Sunday, immediate reaction was strong from multiple sides. With such a violent incident resulting in Lucroy getting hurt, it was guaranteed that MLB would look into it.

I called it a few days ago. I knew MLB would suspend Marisnick, even though I firmly believe he did nothing to deserve it. Now, of course, MLB has suspended him for two games, though its reasoning is flawed at best. It overshadows what should be a happy time for this Astros team, with its players’ strong performance in the All-Star game.

The Rule

MLB Rule 6.01(i) concerning home plate collisions 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 otherwise initiate an unavoidable collision.”

Part Two of the rule states, “Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score.” There are some nuances to these rules, which we can look at in the context of this particular collision.

In part, Joe Torre’s explanation states, “While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision.”

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