Anthony Rizzo Crashed Into The Padres Catcher and They Are Furious About It

In an effort to reduce injuries (especially concussions), Major League Baseball banned home plate collisions a few seasons ago. Well, they didn’t quite ban them completely — more on that in a second — but they definitely wanted them to basically stop.

Anthony Rizzo isn’t interested in baseball’s boring new rules, though.

During Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, Rizzo attempted to tag up on a shallow fly ball to center field off the bat of Kris Bryant. Padres outfielder Matt Szczur made a strong throw and the ball beat Rizzo to the plate by a few steps. Rather than try to slide around the catcher Austin Hedges, Rizzo barreled into Hedges and sent him flying four or five feet backwards. For the record, Hedges held on to the ball and Rizzo was out.

Here’s where the drama starts.

Hedges was very slow to get up and eventually had to leave the game with what the team called it “bruised hip.” Afterwards, several Padres were upset about the play, but no one was more peeved than manager Andy Green, who called it a “cheap shot.”

There’s a bit of grey area here, since home plate collisions aren’t technically banned completely. As long as the runner doesn’t deviate from his path to the plate for the purpose of initiating contact AND the catcher is blocking the plate, then it’s allowed. Obviously, Rizzo felt the play was legal when asked about it after the game.

Hedges said he wanted to watch a replay before commenting on the play further, but did mention that he thought he “gave [Rizzo] the plate” to slide into.

Hands up if you’re betting that Rizzo gets a fastball up towards his chin when the Cubs and Padres resume their series on Tuesday. It’s a pretty safe gamble.

Devon Taylor (@DevonTaylor113)

Devon Taylor (@DevonTaylor113)

Devon has been writing about random things online since 2013. His favorite video game is Rocket League, his favorite TV show is The Sopranos, and he hated the last season of Game of Thrones. Follow him @DevonTaylor113.