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:
Right this looks like a fair play...— Gustavo (@gusgusortiz_01) September 23, 2018
Tim Anderson had every right to call out Joe West on this!
Javier Baez is trash now pic.twitter.com/MJrLXcVfOR
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:
Tim Anderson postgame. pic.twitter.com/pd2Bo78NuV— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) September 23, 2018
Thanks to the Cubs broadcast I was able to see Joe West staring down Anderson. West is a weirdo. pic.twitter.com/116vqhxd3B— Brian (@Go_GoSox) September 23, 2018
Anderson on the disagreement with umpire Joe West: "I don’t have much to say about him. Everybody knows he’s terrible. But I didn’t say much and he threw me out. It’s ok."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 23, 2018
More Anderson on the ejection: "I asked him a question and he kind of got (angry) at me. I asked him if he saw (Baez) reach for my leg in the replay. He asked me if I was going to argue that and I said, ‘No, I was just asking a question.’ .....— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 23, 2018
More Anderson: "...And after that I didn’t say anything else. He started barking at me. Kept staring me down. I gave him (the) 'Why you keep looking at me?' Did that twice and threw me out."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 23, 2018
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?
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The slide rule is stupid and I prefer seeing Chase Utley break legs with his slides into second.
Should Tim Anderson have been ejected from the game for getting stared at by Joe West?
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Yes. Players never should touch, or point at, or look at umpires.
Are you kidding? Of course not.
Joe West shouldn’t be umpiring a classroom full of kids, much less a major league baseball game.
What will live on as the lowlight of Hawk’s career?
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Riding Charlie Finley’s donkey
White Sox GM tenure
The end of the Hawk: I Did it My Way memoir
Getting all kissyface with Joe West