First Pitch: The Impact of Losing Jung-ho Kang and the Need for The Kang Rule

A lot of really bad things happened for the Pirates today. In the short-term, they lost to the Cubs, losing their third of four games this series, and falling to just a two-game lead for home field in the Wild Card game.

For the bigger picture, they lost Jung-ho Kang for the season after a takeout slide from Chris Coghlan. Kang had surgery tonight and is expected to be out for six to eight months, meaning he may miss the first month and a half of the 2016 season.

After the game, the Cubs defended the play as being a “good baseball play” and a clean and legal play, citing that this has been going on for 100 years. A quick look at the play shows that it was anything but clean, and it wasn’t a good play at all.

KangTakeoutSlide

Then there’s the actual rule, which should have ruled this illegal, as Coghlan didn’t even slide toward the bag, and had clear intent in taking out Kang and breaking up the double play.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 12.34.52 AM

MLB added “The Posey Rule” after a home plate collision knocked Buster Posey out for an extended period of time. After this, they need “The Kang Rule” to eliminate these types of plays. The idea that you can throw your body directly at a fielder, with the sole intent of wiping them off their feet, all to break up a double play, is ridiculous. The fact that this is seen as acceptable, and a clean play is even crazier.

And it’s not like this is something that only became apparent after tonight. Here was our own Ed Giles on the same subject, less than 24 hours before this play even happened, after the Pedro Florimon/Miguel Montero block at home on Wednesday night.

How is this still legal? They made a rule to prevent collisions at home plate where the fielder has shin guards, a chest protector, and a helmet or mask. And yet it’s totally acceptable at second base with no armor, and when the fielder has to concentrate on catching a ball, touching the base, turning to first, and making an accurate throw. They’re just expected to add “leap over a 220 pound runner trying to tackle you” into that mix?

One of the things that stood out with this play is that Kang didn’t do much to avoid Coghlan. He stepped to the side, but he didn’t try to leap over him. As Dan at MyKBO points out, they handle things a bit different in Korea.

https://twitter.com/MyKBO/status/644717395987140608

The runner goes right to the bag in that play. If Coghlan did the same thing, then we’d just be talking right now about what a horrible series the Pirates just had, and continuing the debate about how often the Pirates should play Kang while mixing in their other infield options. After seeing the KBO play, it becomes more clear why Kang didn’t make more of an effort to leap over Coghlan. Then again, Coghlan’s right leg was so high up that it might have been impossible for Kang to totally avoid him.

This loss really hurts the Pirates in a big way. Kang has not only been a huge surprise this season, and a guy who can open the door for other hitters to come over from the KBO, but he’s been one of the best players in baseball in the second half. He’s also been the best player on the Pirates, according to FanGraphs WAR. Take a look at the chart below.

KangWARLeader

Based on the way Kang has played in the second half, this is the equivalent of losing Andrew McCutchen. It’s a huge blow to the lineup. The Pirates have good depth, but there’s no one who can totally replace Kang’s production.

Hopefully MLB will realize the impact of this play. I believe the Posey Rule came into effect not just because of the seriousness of the play, but because of the star value of Posey. Based on his performance, Kang should have similar star value, especially when you consider his pioneer status for an emerging baseball market. That would hopefully lead to a rule change.

Baseball may have accepted this for 100 years, and they may consider it a “good baseball play” now. But the reality is that these types of plays are dirty, and they lead to a very real risk of serious injuries, as we saw today. That alone should be enough for a rule change to eliminate this nonsense. Or, since the rule is already there, it should lead to an actual enforcement of the rules, rather than the perception that this play is acceptable because it’s allowed to happen so often.

**Jung-Ho Kang Undergoes Surgery, Out 6-8 Months. All of the details on Kang.

**Prospect Watch: Indianapolis Keeps the Season Alive Behind Comeback. Not a great night for Tyler Glasnow, although Indianapolis won and kept their season going. Chad Kuhl will make his Triple-A debut tomorrow.

**Pirates Lose Series To Cubs In What Was a Tough Day at the Park. Pete Ellis with the live report from PNC Park for those of you who want to relive this nightmare of a game.

**Austin Meadows Impressed in Short Time With Altoona. Sean McCool with the first impression on Austin Meadows in his jump to Altoona.

**Yeudy Garcia is the Pirates Prospects 2015 Breakout Prospect of the Year. For the first time in our seven years of covering the farm system, we recognize the biggest breakout prospect. Garcia was an easy choice here, and the article discusses what led to his breakout. It also includes some good info on Max Moroff, who was the Breakout Position Player.

  • Tim … Loved the article! Great points and well written.
    I’ve personally always felt the take out slide and the home plate collision were like throwing temper tantrums on the field. You’re clearly out – so you try to hit the fielder as hard as you can in the guise of breaking up the double play or making the catcher drop the ball.
    If they don’t listen to your advice, I suggest we let runners step on 1B-men’s ankles to see if they can force their feet off the bag?
    Good thing I don’t play because if a runner was bearing down towards my knees, my instinct would to hold the ball and knee him in the head.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 18, 2015 9:37 pm

    I did not see the game or play LIVE, as I am in New Mexico on a work assignment. But, after seeing the replay, I just got irate – it was clearly a very late and dangerous slide by Coughlin. I am suprised no one in the Pirates organization – on the field right after it happened or afterwards – did anything to retaliate or let the Cubs and Coughlin know how dirty of a play it was. Someone from the Pirates needed to drill one of the Cubs in the back with a fastball or something. Has there been anything postgame?

    Check this article out…the fans in Korea are not very happy with the Pirates:

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/09/18/korean-fans-questioning-response-from-team-and-organization-following-kang-injury/

    …and I think they have a valid point….

  • If they don’t want to impose a rule to protect these players then the players should just throw the ball as hard as they can into the fact of the base runner. It will result in some fights but it is good for the game because that is how it has been done for 100 years.

  • I don’t like any rule which provides an exception to what are otherwise rules elsewhere. I like the Posey rule because it no longer made home plate the exception to the not-being-allowed-to-block-a-base-without-the-ball and the not-being-allowed-to-try-to-make-a-fielder-drop-the-ball-by-running-into-him rules at every other base. It’s more consistent this way.

    I don’t like takeout slides at second base on the turn because under no other circumstance can you attempt to use your body to intentionally disrupt a fielder’s attempt to make a throw. The fielder has a right to do his job, which is to make that throw. The runner also has a right to do his job, which is to advance on the base paths. Veering off the path to second base in order to prevent a fielder from doing his job is not part of getting from base to base.

    Plus, they’re dangerous.

  • Tim,
    By the definition of the rule that you posted, there was nothing wrong with the play as he never left the baseline which is the key baseline for that rules enforcement.

    What I find amazing is that you now take this stance after Kang was injured, yet this outrage didn’t exist when Mercer was taken out, and the slide that took Mercer out was a hell of a lot more blatant then this slide.

    Andrew posted a great video of Kang trying to break up a double play. In it, Kang clearly veers out of the base line, and would not have been able to make any contact with second base. Coghlan on the other had, has his hand on the bag. Yes Coghlan’s leg is higher, but at the same time, one could say he put his leg at risk of being broken if he consciously lifted his leg that high.

    Yes it sucks that we lost Kang for the year and into perhaps half of next year. Yet this same outrage didn’t exist a couple months ago. You call it a “star rule” as in the Posey rule (otherwise known as the pussy rule elsewhere). I for one don’t think you change rules to protect the “stars”. They need to play by the same rules that everyone else plays by.

    • “What I find amazing is that you now take this stance after Kang was injured, yet this outrage didn’t exist when Mercer was taken out, and the slide that took Mercer out was a hell of a lot more blatant then this slide.”

      I didn’t like the Mercer play either. The reason I didn’t write an article on that is because I was off those days, or at least my terms of being off (still editing articles and posting important injury updates). I was just about to hit the road to be gone for three weeks covering the minors, and wasn’t writing First Pitch articles until I got on the road. Thus, you didn’t get this article at the time.

    • You are a real clown Silver

  • I suppose that this being the second time he’s torn a guys knee up in the same situation is just a coincidence. The more I see and think about this the more angry it makes me. I dont care what Blass or kang himself says, it’s a chickenshit play to slide at the fielder and not even make an attempt to aim for the bag. And it’s a chickenshit play when we do it too. This whole situation needs to be addressed by mlb. It’s a gray area and there will have to be judgement calls made but so what, that’s what we have human officials for. At least with the posey injury you can say the runner is trying to get to home plate. The only intent here is to physically alter the fielder’s ability to do his job. That’s bullshit.

  • I totally disagree w Tim. As the Posey rule has shown, attempting to legislate hard physical play out of the game, though done with good intentions, leads to frustration and inconsistent judgment calls.

    Nobody in the game is 100% clear on what is or isn’t blocking the plate. For example, there was a game where Russell Martin was called for blocking the plate on a force out at home. And this week the Cubs Catcher purposely moved into the base path to catch a throw to impede a Pirates runner from scoring in a legal manner according to MLB. And why was it legal? MLB said it was because when the infield is in, Catchers are allowed to get in base path. Who has ever heard this before? Is MLB just making this up as they go?

    The Kang injury was unfortunate and it certainly hurts Pirates chances for playoff success this year, but to suggest MLB needs to change the rules because of it is an emotionally charged misguided opinion. It would only lead to an even worse game for players and fans, just as the Posey rule has done.

    • Nothing about that play is good for baseball players or fans. Sliding with your feet 3-5 feet from the base does nothing but invite serious injury. Baseball is just lucky most players tend to do this with their feet down toward the ankle and not the knee.

      Thats a play that has no reason other than “imma try to stop a DP by hitting his knee real hard”.

      • I disagree. I appreciate a hard slide into 2nd in attempt to break up a DP. Do I think Coughlin crossed the line from hard to reckless? Certainly debatable, but I, nor Kang and Hurdle for that matter, thought he was trying to hurt Kang.

        Sports are physically dangerous. To think one can protect players by legislating contact out of game is akin to the saying the cure is worse than the disease.

        • See, here’s my problem with it. That’s not a “slide into second”. That’s a “I’m going to slide into the fielder as much as possible while maybe coming close to second base” play. Ask yourself this…if there hadn’t been a chance for an out at first is there anyway a player ever slides into second like that?
          I’m not advocating legislating contact out of the sport. I’m just saying that his action is completely unnatural to any part of the game other than, “I want to hit this person.”

          • Ok, just for arguments sake MLB agrees with you and thinks they need to rid sport of this play. Where is the line drawn? How is it enforced? What are penalties?

            The reason he, and all players, slide hard into 2nd is to prevent an out. There are only 3 in an inning, so they need to be protected as precious commodities,

            • One of your feet must make contact with the base during a feet first slide would be a starting point for discussion of how to rule away this type of slide. If you go headfirst, it doesnt apply. If you go feet first, its on the runner to ensure one of his feet actually make contact with the base during the slide.

              It ensures the defender has the chance to avoid the runner by being Kang like distance from the base and not seeing a runner throw his legs 3-5 feet from the base. You can go in hard with your feet in the baseline all you want, just not hand near base and entire body outside of the baseline.

            • Imo just tweak the original rule that Tim already posted. Take out the in the base path part. If your intent is to hit the man and not slide into the base then it’s illegal. It’s enforced by umpires. Penalties are ejection, with possibility of a fine or suspension upon further review. Is this really that hard?

              Of course there’s going to be gray areas and judgment calls, so what? Every ball/strike call is a judgment call. Every time a pitcher gets tossed its judging intent. The Posey rule judges intent. Why can’t we do that here too?

        • There can be, and is, a difference between “hard slide into 2B” and what was done on that play. Hard slide can A) have the feet actually near the base B) not see the feet high enough to make contact with the knees of a fielder and C) start well before the slide on that play.

          He slid late, went high, and his feet clearly had intent to make contact with the defender to interfere with the play. Its time to call that what it is, interference and illegal.

          • If they had called interference on that play, nothing changes. They got the out at first.

            Realistically the players themselves have done a good job of policing this issue. Once players started making big money a generation ago, the truly reckless slides w intent to harm have all but disappeared. Check videos from 80’s and before on slides into 2nd and you’ll see I’m right.

            Players look after each other today way more than they ever have. Maybe the reason people are so upset about this play is it so uncommon nowadays for middle IFers to get hurt playing D. Hasn’t always been the case.

            • This is very true but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon still.

              • Safety can always be improved, but at what price? They can make football less dangerous by taking pads off and putting flags on, but will you enjoy watching it?

                I refuse to endorse the notion sports is better if it’s played like the French play war.

                • Tackle football vs flag football are two completely different sports. A runner who is already out trying to take out a pivot man is a much smaller part of what makes baseball the game it is. I don’t see what you’re sacrificing by taking that play out. Also, as I said, I don’t want to remove all contact. Let the pivot man get hit if he’s near the bag. Personally, I think the Posey rule is dumb and they shouldn’t have changed it. To me this is just an unnatural play. Like I said would anyone ever slide like that into a base if there was no DP to break up?

            • The point of that rule change is it inherently changes the runners decision. He made that slide thinking their is a chance to disrupt the out. You make the rule state that a slide like that is an automatic DP, he never makes that slide.

              The players suck at policing it because every team does that slide, its the fault of umps for failing to enforce the rule (much like the above Kang version of “what are you doing” shows).

              • The players don’t suck at enforcing it. They know if they cross the line and injure a player on opposing team, they run the risk of retaliation and they or one of their teammates may have their golden goose cooked.

                Tell me Coughlin or Bryant (player most similar to Kang on Cubs) isn’t worried they’re going to suffer same fate as Cutch last year after Goldy was hurt by Pirates. There is a series coming up next week in Chicago.

                • So you are basically saying CHC isnt worried because PGH doesnt intentionally try to injure enough players in retaliation?

                  If thats “policing themselves” its insane logic. No, i dont want players thinking “well i cant do this only because they might throw 100 at my head” i want, and they admit, to having enough respect for other players to play within the rules and avoid attempts to injure other players. Intentional or not, that slide offers nothing but the chance of injury.

    • Soccer does it very simply with minimal disruption. Think about the potential for injuries due to tackles, and then that such injuries are rare (in context of the sport). If soccer can slow reckless players down, so can baseball. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

      • Well since baseball isn’t going to start issuing yellow and red cards, it will be more complicated (see Posey rule) and totally unnecessary.

        Everyone involved in game acknowledges there was no intent to injure. Sports are physically dangerous, even soccer.

        • No intent to injure, but attempt to make contact at the knee or shin area with great enough force to change the direction of the throw or stop him from throwing.

          So really, while he didnt think “hurt him” his intent had clear potential to injure and no real baseball relevance other than obstruction.

        • Idk…personally I’d love to see Votto’s reaction when the ump pulls a red card out on him.

    • This one is easy. When not avoiding a tag (so on obvious force plays), the slide must be directly at the bag. If you slide not at the bag, you are called for interference. That’s black and white.

      Heck, the Posey rule is, too. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be enforced properly. You can’t block the plate until you have the ball. That’s a hard, cut-and-dry cutoff. It shouldn’t be hard to enforce.

      There’s an added benefit to getting rid of takeout slides, though. The neighborhood play would go away. I hate the neighborhood play, but it’s necessary while runners can target middle infielders’ legs.

    • Scott, I think you can answer your own question, ” Is MLB just making this up as they go ? ” When that explanation was given I told my brother ” New York just made that up to justify the call “. The best part ? Supposedly just one infielder was drawn in on that play.

  • It was a chicken $hit play by Coghlan. If you are going to take a guy out at second then take him out head on. Don’t side swipe him and kick him in the knee as you skate past. Then Madden makes a joke about it after the game. Its on.

  • Although I consider myself a purist, I think a Kang rule is possible one day. I think we are less than ten years away from Skynet Umpires and the DH implemented in the NL ( I am against both fwiw). So a Kang rule would not exactly alter the game as much as those will.

    I am disappointed for Kang but more disappointed for those guys in the clubhouse who lost arguably their 2nd best team mate.

  • On top of this deviating injury the Pirates miserably fail to step up to the pump in a huge series

    • They were, however, well rested for that terribly debilitating cross-country flight. Cubs stars are exhausted. I wonder who was happier last night.

      • That’s a mentally lazy comment. Pirates lost two coin flip games to their two best SP’s. It was a hard fought series that went Cubs way. You can blame CH, but he has somehow overcome his own stupidity to lead the Pirates to playoffs for 3rd straight year.

        • The division title was the stated goal of the organization , from the owner to the 25th player. The team did not play well in this series. In my opinion the manager did not give them their best chance to win game two. The time is long past for this team to be content with making the playoffs. I guess you missed Hurdle’s critical comments of how his team played.

          • Michael ,the bottom line is they lost.
            good teams win important games.
            at this point in time the Cubs are a better team I hope things change in a couple weeks as it stands right now a wildcard game against Jake Arrieta does not look good for us I’m just calling a spade a spade

    • Failed miserably overstates it. We lost by 1 run to their two aces, and in the Arrieta game we likely would have won had the Posey Rule been interpreted the way it had been in the past.

      Yesterday was very disheartening due to the injury, but even then we came back once and simply couldn’t quite come back from the meltdown in the 4th.

      • again bottom line we lose 3 of 4
        what else do you call losing three out of four games ?
        I’m sorry I’m just not a homer
        Arietta gave up one earned run

  • My Wife’s Uncle, whose Father was a Friend of Honus Wagner, told a story of the time Ty Cobb (who did this as a rule, BTW) came into second base with his spikes up and got a taste of his own medicine from Honus, who stepped on Ty’s ankle. Ty never did that to Honus again, anyway. Two can play at this Game – if MLB won’t police it!

  • A key here is that there was no way for Kang to jump over Coghlan because of how Coghlan targeted Kang’s knees. If Coghlan even had a normal take-out slide going for the ankles to knock Kang off balance, then Kang might have been okay. Going for the knees is an attempt to injure–soccer and football get that, and those are sports where players have at least some padding.

    Because the Cubs are such media darlings I don’t expect MLB to do anything.

  • I really cannot get indigent about this, what Coghlan did happens almost every game, Pirates base runners do it frequently, and a parallaxed slow motion image isn’t going to sway my opinion. The result is terrible, but the same process occurs every game.

    I’m all in favor of trying to get these type of take out slides eliminate, but any argument from us Pirate fans is pretty hollow at this time.

    • Show me a replay of a player launching himself at the knees of his opponent. Guys do regularly go out of the baseline; they very rarely go after a fellow player’s knees.

        • This is exactly my point–Kang goes out of the baseline but notice that his legs are low at the ankles of the SS which gives the SS a chance to avoid contact. You can even see Kang quickly dropping his lead foot to avoid the knee area.

          • Watch the replay of Kang Coghlan collision from the side, Coghlan heel is at the level of Kang’s ankle, the idea that he targeted the knee is a result of the subsequent contact because Kang didn’t jump.

            We can disagree but this is why I can’t get indigent, asking an umpire to differentiated between these slides is asking way too much. Both slides are legal or illegal.

            • What does ” getting indigent ” really mean, by the way ?

            • Andrew,
              Great job of backing up your statement! In this video you can see Kang veering out of the base path, which you really don’t see when Coghlan takes out Kang.

              I agree that the rules should be looked at for this type of play, but I salute your work for the finding the visual evidence that its a current acceptable practice in the ML.

          • TN
            This is exactly right and makes also highlights how fundamentally sound Kang is! Find the comments out there on the proper and ethical way baseball players are taught to make the hard takeout slide and what Kang does here is textbook. He leads with his feet, stacks his legs and targets the feet. Coghlan leads with his knee and it is high. Andrew, we disagree totally on this one as the slides are very different. Kang textbook and clean, Coghlan reckless and dirty. They are both away from the base but If Coghlan leads with his feet Kang is upended at worst and doesn’t have a wrecked knee. Knee on knee hits to defenseless players result in fines, penalties, and suspensions in every other major sport. Kang is not at fault for not jumping in time. Tim said it very well and cites the rule and commentary….there is no place for this in baseball.

        • No contact is made. He is actually sliding and not jumping into his knees. Yes he’s out of the baseline, no he doesn’t intentionally make contact and go for his knees. How can you not see the difference?

    • Hard, early and low is a baseball play. Late and high is not. And your video shows the precise difference between the two slides, even of you don’t realize it.

      • Well said and exactly right.

      • The difference is Santana jumps or Kang doesn’t. How does one lead a slide with their knee? Again both slides are legal under current interpretation of the rules, and there are other examples of Pirates making similar slides. The idea that there is some inarguable standard for was is an acceptable baseball play is inane. Andy Van Sklye said the latter the better.

        I think take out slides should be better policed, but giving umpires a decision tree to evaluate each slide isn’t the way to accomplish that.

        • I certainly do agree with that thought Andrew. But, just like with the Posey Rule, umpires will always have arbitrary decision to make when rules like that are to be applied.

          • That is fair, we disagree, I just think the easiest factor to judge is toward the bag or not, late and high we are debating fractions of a second and inches.

      • Mercer can't hit RHP
        September 18, 2015 12:30 pm

        Really? Lol.

  • Kang was 3 feet or more away from the bag when he was throwing the ball to first. How much farther away does he have to get to show he was trying to avoid being taken out. Then there was Mercer at the beginning of the year. He was what half way to first base when he was taken out…To say that these were good legal plays is ridiculous.

  • Did anyone see/hear Harold Reynold discussing this play on MLB Tonight? What a joke. He basically blamed Kang for the whole incident. Claimed that it was not a double play ball (yes, even though they turned a double play) about three or four different times.

  • Coughlan better be eating dirt from one aimed at his face the next time we see them! And then get one in the back or the wrist on the next pitch. Hey the playoffs are set. We’re probably going to play and lose the wild card game in Wrigley, so it won’t matter in the long run.

    • I agree … except it should happen to a player as important to the Cubs as Kang was to us … say Rizzo or Bryant. And then we will say, “we never meant to hurt him, so it’s OK.”
      Just great, one guy, a marginal one at that, ruins an entire season. I hope something, anything, ruins the Cubs season for them ….

    • So says Chicken Little.

      • Hey, don’t look now, but the Cubs just came in here and utterly embarrassed the Pirates! They have the momentum on their side, and I don’t care what anyone says in public about “the code” and “the unwritten rules (that includes current and ex-MLBers….cough cough… Blass…cough cough…) they are laughing it up and high fiving it over taking out Kang for the season! Message needs to be sent, although Nice Guy Clint won’t do anything about it! As I said, I hope they enjoy getting three hit by Arrieta in Wriggley in the wild card game.

        • A win, 2 one run loses, and one clunker and we were embarrassed?

          If MLB calls the blocking the plate rule correctly, we win 2 of 4 and you arent being this absurd. We werent embarrassed in any game except game 4. That happens, we played a close series and came up short. Season aint over.

        • Nice guy Clint has been the manager while we’ve continually led the majors in hitting opposing batters. It’s not like we’re some loser hiding in the corner getting picked on.

          • I’m not comparing pitching inside to what Coghlan did but this is a good point and I’m surprised no one brought it up earlier. The Pirates beaning batters is a byproduct of pitching inside and one they haven’t apologized for. The Bucs weren’t bullied. They are not pansies. They were simply beat by a team that played better than them and one that is arguably better than them right now.

          • That stems mostly from a philosophy of working inside to hitters. HBP is a natural outgrowth of that theme. This is something totally different.

            • Oh I agree that a lot of the HBP stuff comes from our determination to pitch inside, and I’m fine with that. I just don’t look at our behavior and think that we are really ever backing down from anything either. One of our guys gets hit and we pretty much will always retaliate regardless of the situation. Also, this was a totally different tangent for me from the Kang thing. I hope we drill Coghlan on his wrist the next time he’s up. For Kang, for Iwakuma, and because he stole Cutch’s ROY.

    • I’d direct your anger at a manager who calls it a good baseball play. I guess in the big picture a very cynical view of sport would consider taking out your primary rival’s best player (2nd half) a good play.

      • someone else said yesterday, “hey it’s legal to slide into first. Would be a bummer if someone snapped Rizzo’s knee!”….Just sayin…….

        • Oh my god I had this exact thought about 15 minutes ago. Turn him into Thiesman and then have someone say, “Hey, it’s just a hard, physical play.”

  • If the spikes stay on the ground I’m ok with the slide. It’s the whip and raise of the leg into the fielder that is the issue. This type of play is dirty and should be banned. Fielder’s are taught to throw and leap over the sliding runner, we’ll you can’t jump over a runner with his leg 2-3 feet off the grounf. Terrible.
    Do you think anyone from Indy will be up to add some depth? Mercer and Florimon will be tough, and I don’t want to see SRod there. Is Hanson a possibility even though he’s not a SS anymore?

  • Either make/enforce a Kang rule or dispose of the Posey rule. Having one and not the other is hypocrisy.

  • I want to streetfight people, especially the Cubs right now, who think that’s a clean play. How you can hit someone in the knee before your rear hits the dirt – never mind the fact that you’re sliding north south on an east west play – and you think its just being hard nosed makes me want to give you an iron mike/glass Joe style beatdown.

    I’m sad for Kang and I’m sad for the Buccos. Frankly I think it was about 50/50 to get out of the wild card with him… Without him?… I think the Pirates are gonna have to play a perfect game and not much that they’ve done tells me they’re gonna do that.

    Kang was just great this year. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him and hope he has a full and speedy recovery.

    • SufferinBuccotash
      September 18, 2015 8:49 am

      I guess you want to street fight Sean Casey and Steve Blass then.

      • Steve Blass is the leading contender for the Dumbest Ex Major League Player still holding a baseball related job. Casey is probably one of the better known candidates for that title. Mitch Williams held the title till early last season.

      • I respect Steve Blass for his contributions to the Pirates and in general as a fellow human being on Earth. I don’t respect his baseball opinions at all. He expounds an archaic view of the game, and clearly hasn’t bothered to learn anything new since he stopped playing (let alone actually prep for a broadcast by learning anything about the rest of the league). He mostly likes to talk about the good old days and frequently seems downright proud not to understand modern baseball.

        • You have said all there is to say about Blass right there Arik. Waves the flag of ignorance of the modern game like its a badge of honor.

    • Completely agree – Coghlan slid late, and high. As long as we’re talking about things that probably won’t happen, what I want is a rule that subtracts a player from the offending team for the duration of the injury. Thus, Rizzo or Bryant (selecting someone with an appropriate WAR), gets to sit until Kang is healthy. If Maddon, for whom I’ve lost a lot of respect over this incident, knew dirty plays could interfere with the Cubs pennant chances, they’d be cleaned up in a heartbeat.

      • Agree with your take on the slide – it was wide, high and late. He also reached out his right leg to initiate contact with the Kang’s leg. One would never slide like this with the intent of getting to the 2B bag. I don’t know about subtracting a player or how it would be workable but it’s an interesting thought. Also feel same way about Maddon. Used to think he was innovative with the Rays seeing him from afar, but having seen him up close with the Cubs this year it’s clear to me that he’s a querky hipster. His comments about plantar fasciitis were bizarre and demeaning to Pirates and Kang. Question Maddon should’ve been asked by media after his comments – Would you feel the same way, i.e. play is legal and it constitutes good baseball, if Addison Russell were on the receiving end of the same play?

      • At the very least, there should be a rule that if a player in this situation were to be suspended, the Pirates should get to choose which games he misses. I don’t want him missing the Cards series. He should have to miss the WC game, and the Cubs should have to play a man short on the roster.

  • I didn’t think it was dirty when I saw it, but every replay makes it clearer. The Posey rule is garbage because it is alternately not enforced, or invoked at every replay opportunity. These plays have seriously injured two Bucs SSs in the same season, and it’s a darned shame.

    • I feel the same. I think it’s because it looks like 100s of other slides that happen every year, and usually we don’t notice because no one gets hurt.

      I think the takeout slide is a stupid tradition and it’s time to get rid of it. But they’d better come up with a rule that is actually sensible and enforceable, because the way the Posey rule is enforced/not is infuriating. (I’m highly in favor of the Posey Rule and even almost I’m ready to give up on it with the mess they’ve made of it.)

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