SAN FRANCISCO -- Calling the rule “gray and ambiguous” Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn't understand why infielder Javier Baez was called out for running out of the baseline in the eighth inning of the Cubs' 1-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night.
“I really don’t understand the call at all,” Maddon said after the game. “I really don’t.”
“The point is he didn’t really get way out there.”
Baez bunted toward first base and the ball was picked up by first baseman Brandon Belt, who went to tag Baez but missed as Baez moved from the infield grass onto the dirt in foul territory, eventually sliding to the ground and touching first base. First-base umpire Dana DeMuth called him out of the base path.
“I go way back with Dana,” Maddon said. “It was not an egregious move on Javier’s part by any means. I was really surprised by the call.”
MLB Rule 7.08 states "a runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely."
In question: When exactly was the tag attempt and where was Baez? It was a key moment considering it was the leadoff man in the eighth inning of a 1-0 game. Asked what kind of explanation he received from DeMuth, Maddon didn’t hesitate.
“A bad one,” he said.