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In hindsight, it would have been better if Marisnick had slid to the outside, but it’s wrong to penalize a player when he tried to avoid the contact, but contact happened anyway. Sometimes these things happen, no matter how many rules you make. It’s unfortunate, but it’s clear that what happened here was accidental.
MLB’s desire to suspend Marisnick seems to be based solely on the fact that Lucroy got hurt, and that they want to eliminate these types of collisions. That’s all well and good, but if anyone here violated the rules, it’s Lucroy. Would he have been suspended if Marisnick had been hurt instead? Somehow I doubt it.
The intent of the rule should be to simply eliminate situations where a runner intentionally bulldozes a catcher. You can’t eliminate accidental collisions and it’s wrong to penalize a player for something that was clearly an accident. The fact that the suspension was only for two games clearly shows MLB didn’t think it was intentional, but wanted to suspend him anyway so it can tout how much it supports player safety.
The message MLB is sending here is that as a baserunner, you have an obligation to not touch a catcher, even when he’s blocking your path. I’m not sure how the runner is supposed to score in that situation, but evidently that is of minimal concern. The league seems more concerned with its image than with doing right by its players.
Marisnick has appealed the MLB ruling and will be eligible to be in Houston’s lineup for this evenings game.
Frankly, I’m not even sure why the rule exists if MLB isn’t going to follow it. Lucroy blocked Marisnick’s path, resulting in an unintentional collision. Shame on the league for suspending Marisnick, though Astros fans have come to expect nothing better from the Commissioner’s office over the years.