For Pete's Sake

Would Brett Lawrie’s slide last year against the Royals be deemed illegal?

Royals fans likely thought back to last April when they heard about Major League Baseball’s new rule on takeout slides on double plays.

On April 17, Oakland’s Brett Lawrie injured Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar with a hard slide into second base. That kicked off a wild weekend at Kauffman Stadium.

But would Lawrie’s slide have been deemed illegal?

The rule, which was announced Thursday, says a runner must make a “bona fide” slide. That means he must:

(1) begin his slide (i.e., make contact with the ground) before reaching the base;

(2) be able and attempt to reach the base with his hand or foot;

(3) be able and attempt to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and

(4) slide within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

Here is Lawrie’s slide:

Had the rule been in place last year and Lawrie deemed to have not attempted a “bona fide” slide, Oakland’s Josh Reddick, who hit the ball to Mike Moustakas, would have been ruled out as well.

So what do you think? Would that slide have been deemed illegal under the new rule (there is no consensus in the office)?


Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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