Rizzo Retribution Needs To Take Place Tonight

The Pirates shouldn't get bullied any longer

The Fan Morning Show
May 29, 2018 - 11:26 am
Rizzo slide into Diaz

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- His first at-bat, you hit Anthony Rizzo on the backside. Period. Plain and simple.

Not at his head or his hands, his backside. The Pirates should be tired of getting pushed around.

During yesterday's game, Rizzo looked to intentionally change his path and slid into the plate while making sure to take out Pirates catcher Elias Diaz. Rizzo even admitted after the game that he was trying to break up the double play as Diaz was throwing to first base. Diaz felt that it was not a clean slide. His next at-bat, Pirates pitcher Richard Rodriguez did not hit Rizzo with a pitch for retribution.  

The Fan Morning Show discussed this whole situation today and said that the Pirates come out of this looking like they backed down once again. Colin Dunlap and Jeff Hathhorn harkened back to Spring Training when guys like Josh Harrison and David Freese called into question the clubhouse atmosphere and will to fight and win last year and said this year will be different. Harrison said he got hit over twenty times last year and not once did the Pirates have his back (he eventually got injured for the rest of the season because he got hit in the hand). Things were supposed to change this season.

Fast forward to Monday and the Pirates were faced with the perfect situation to protect one of their players. It was a 5-0 game. Anthony Rizzo was up with a base empty. Rizzo was not hit and nothing was done about a slide that could have easily injured Diaz and possibly ended his career. Another fail from the Pirates. 

We don't know if Richard Rodriguez was told not to hit Rizzo or wasn't fully aware of the situation enough to hit him or what exactly happened. All we know is that Rizzo got away with it without "wearing one" and Cubs manager Joe Maddon (in his infinite wisdom) later called it "the perfect play" and said that fans are wrong in their outcry of the slide.

There is a rule (6.01i to be exact) in MLB that 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 other player covering home plate), or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision."  Sure seems like the Rizzo slide checks all those boxes, yet nothing was called on the field or after replay. 

Pirates broadcaster Joe Block joined the show and said that the slide itself wasn't "dirty" but it was definitely illegal according to MLB rules.

Jeff Hathhorn took it a step further and said that if the Pirates don't hit Rizzo tonight, he questions the heart of the team and the franchise. He says it's time for this team to stand up for themselves. This is their first real adversity of the season and that "tight-knit" clubhouse is not responding well. This does not look like they are all together, as evidenced by what we can only assume was a conversation between David Freese and third base coach Joey Cora in the dugout about the lack of retaliation that got heated. 

By not taking care of business last night, you leave rookie pitcher Nick Kingham to clean up the mess and carry out the duty of hitting Rizzo tonight. But will he?

Again, his first at-bat, you hit Anthony Rizzo on the backside. Period. Plain and simple.

You can hear The Fan Morning Show's lengthy discussion about this below. 

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