Buck Showalter on home plate collision - Orioles at Cubs

Somehow this isn’t considered blocking the plate.

There seem to be different interpretations of rule 7.13 every day. Friday in Chicago, Orioles manager Buck Showalter became the latest person in baseball to be confused by the new home plate collision rule.

With runners on first and second, Caleb Joseph hit a blooper to right field. Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney scooped it up and fired home to catcher John Baker who tagged out Chris Davis coming home. It appeared that Davis had to step around Baker while attempting to score.

For a bit of clarification, here’s how 7.13 reads in the rule book:

A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).

Now, let’s watch again.

As I take off my orange tinted sun glasses to watch that GIF, I notice Davis’ right leg take a final step to the right while running home in an effort to avoid Baker’s out stretched left leg. That sure looks like deviating his direct pathway to the plate, right?

In the end, the O’s fell 4-1 anyway as old friend Jake Arrieta out dueled Kevin Gausman. But how that call wasn’t overturned is a bit confusing to me.