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You make the call: The slide in the 9th

Javier Baez lunged, Tim Anderson balked, TA and Ricky got tossed, and Hawk shrugged

The Question is Mute: Tim Anderson was ejected in the ninth inning for not protesting this slide, in a sense.

With one out and runners at the corners in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 8-3 Chicago Cubs win over the Chicago White Sox, Anthony Rizzo hit a double-play grounder to Yoán Moncada. The play took long enough to develop that Rizzo was almost certain to beat the throw to first after Javier Baez was forced at second base.

But on his slide, Baez stuck his arm out in attempted contact with shortstop Tim Anderson, who may or may not have gakked his throw wide right to first base in adjusting to Baez’s swipe. With the ball rolling out of play, Rizzo was awarded second base and the run scored by Ben Zobrist from third was allowed.

Coming up off the ground after extending himself awkwardly on the throw, Anderson in real time seemed to be indicating just that: Baez’s arm violated the slide rule and forced his error.

The play in question, with the resulting replay review upholding umpire Joe West’s original call:

[Apologies for pasting in the Cubs broadcast on this one. And, what the hell, does Jim Deshaies on the north side broadcast catch as much hell as the Hawkeroo for homerism, because his childish, can’t-wait-to-leave dismissal of the play rivals Hawk at his silliest. Again, apologies.]

And here are a few stills from the broadcast that focus on only the slide:

Let’s be clear, with the game already at 7-3, West’s call did not affect the outcome.

But making the circumstances of the play worse was West’s buffoonish behavior afterward. It is just Anderson’s side of the story, but TA’s account falls in line with countless reports of West’s circus barker behavior in the past:

This interaction is bad enough, but the material in this third tweet could certainly be read as some uncomfortable racial engagement. Especially when you see TA’s reaction to getting the heave:

Perhaps strangest of all was Hawk Harrelson’s reaction to Anderson’s ejection. We all know that because Hawk and West have gone from bitter enemies to kissing cousins, and there is a fair chance Hawk had no clue how the ejection went down. But for Hawk to pontificate about how TA needed to “let it go” after the call was upheld defies belief.

To repeat: Hawk advised someone to “let it go.”

Ironies of ironies, perhaps the last momentous call of Hawk’s career will involve him defending Joe West.


Should Javier Baez have been called out for violating the slide rule?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (145 votes)
  • 49%
    (199 votes)
  • 14%
    The slide rule is stupid and I prefer seeing Chase Utley break legs with his slides into second.
    (58 votes)
402 votes total Vote Now


Should Tim Anderson have been ejected from the game for getting stared at by Joe West?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Yes. Players never should touch, or point at, or look at umpires.
    (45 votes)
  • 30%
    Are you kidding? Of course not.
    (112 votes)
  • 56%
    Joe West shouldn’t be umpiring a classroom full of kids, much less a major league baseball game.
    (208 votes)
365 votes total Vote Now


What will live on as the lowlight of Hawk’s career?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Nehru jackets
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Riding Charlie Finley’s donkey
    (16 votes)
  • 54%
    White Sox GM tenure
    (155 votes)
  • 9%
    The end of the Hawk: I Did it My Way memoir
    (28 votes)
  • 28%
    Getting all kissyface with Joe West
    (82 votes)
285 votes total Vote Now