Anthony Rizzo’s Slide was a Dirty Play & That’s Okay
Anthony Rizzo had a breakout game for the Chicago Cubs on Monday afternoon. The Cubs first baseman hit a home run, singled home two runs to help break open a game versus Pittsbugh in a 7-0 victory. But everyone talked about Rizzo’s slide during a 2-0 game where he was clearly out at home plate and slid directly into Pittsburgh Pirates’ catcher Elias Diaz’s ankle causing an errant throw. There’s been a ton of discussion on whether that’s a clean or dirty play by Rizzo. Almost anyone who is not a Cubs fan believes it to be dirty from the Cubs superstar despite his manager openly defending him. It’s truly not a big deal that Rizzo went beyond what’s considered kosher in baseball, and the Pirates not retaliating would be a big step for baseball.
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) May 28, 2018
Dirty plays happen in sports. It sucks to see sometimes when it’s a guy you cheer for like the Cubs with Rizzo. It’s weird to see Cubs fans talk about how good he is off the field, and how he could never make a dirty play. Those things are mutually exclusive. Obviously, Joe Maddon is not going to come out and say that he was in the wrong. Joe wants Rizzo to be aggressive, and that’s exactly what he did there. Rizzo saying that ‘We would not have been mad if it happened to us’ is a common response but probably untrue. Cubs react to things like this all the time, so miss me with that one, Anthony. Cubs can defend it all they want, but the play was dirty. He should not have went all the way out to connect with the catcher’s ankle on the blindside.
Pittsburgh fans and writers saying Rizzo needs to get hit in retaliation are pretty dumb. That’s one of those caveman things about baseball that hasn’t gone away. I don’t entirely get it at this point. Why should you put a runner on first for the sole purpose of proving your point that yesterday’s play was dirty? Some guys take it into their own hands, so, I cannot put it fully on the team. Clint Hurdle might tell his players to avoid doing something like this tonight, but it happens anyway because players like doing their own thing.