Matt Kemp may need a refresher on Major League Baseball’s updated rules prohibiting baserunners from deliberately colliding with catchers at home plate.
In the third inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ interleague tilt with the Rangers, Kemp barreled right into Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos while trying to score from second base. Chirinos held onto the ball to record the out, after which Kemp gave him a slight shoulder bump.
Chirinos didn’t like that.
The adversaries exchanged some hearty shoves while both dugouts cleared, and Chirinos appeared to get a few swings in before he and Kemp were ejected.
Things simmered down before escalating into a full-fledged brawl, but Chirinos still wasn’t happy with Kemp’s bull-rush after the game.
“I didn’t know he was going to come after me like that,” Chirinos said, via ESPN.com. “I got mad when Kemp got up, and he leaned into me and put his shoulder into me. That’s when I rushed him. Everyone knows the rule, they preach it to us in spring training. It was emotional.”
In Kemp’s defense, MLB’s new rule stipulates the catcher must give the baserunner a clear path to home plate. The Dodgers outfielder claimed confusion when asked about the incident.
“I think it’s unclear to everybody,” Kemp said. “(Chirinos) was blocking the plate. I don’t know the rule. I don’t even know how it works. I didn’t have a clear path to slide. All I could really think about when I saw him blocking the plate was Washington when I slid into home and messed up my ankle. I didn’t want to do that again.”
Instead, Kemp turned back the clock by giving us an old-fashioned home plate collision. His Dodgers got the last laugh, too, earning a 3-2 win in 11 innings.
Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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