The Chicago Cubs fell victim to the MLB’s slide rule in their game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, and Jon Lester isn’t happy about it.
Following the Cubs’ narrow 3-2 defeat at Busch Stadium, Lester sounded off on the slide rule and the league’s efforts to make the game “soft.”
“Baseball has been played for over 100 years the exact same way, and now we’re trying to change everything and make it soft,” Lester told reporters, as transcribed by ESPN. “That’s baseball, man. We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now. I’m over this damn slide rule and replaying if it’s too far and all this other B.S. We’re grown men out there.”
The incident took place with one out in the fifth inning when the Cubs were trailing 3-1. On an Anthony Rizzo ground ball back to Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez, Cubs rookie Ian Happ slid through second base, forcing St. Louis shortstop Aledmys Diaz to hold on to the ball and prevent the double play.
Kyle Schwarber, who was on third base, crossed the plate as a result. But the run would soon be nullified thanks to the rulebook.
According to ESPN, “a section of the rule, implemented in 2016, states that runner sliding into second has to make ‘a bona fide attempt’ not just to slide into the base, but also to ‘remain on the base.'” As a result, Rizzo was ruled out, granting the Cardinals an inning-ending double play.
Here’s a look at Happ’s slide.
Given it cost Chicago a run against a National Leauge Central division rival, we can understand Lester’s frustration.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images