Joe Maddon defends Anthony Rizzo over accusations of dirty slide

Anthony Rizzo’s controversial slide leads to two runs

Anthony Rizzo’s controversial slide leads to two runs

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Major League Baseball reviewed Rizzo's slide and found that interference should have been called. So does Maddon's superstar first baseman.

With Chicago up 3-0 in the eighth innning and the bases loaded, Chris Gimenez grounded a ball to shortstop Sean Rodriguez, who then threw home to get the force play on Rizzo.

Asked if he believed he had a complete understanding of the rule - which was modified in 2016 - before sliding into Diaz, Rizzo responded, "I mean I don't think anyone has clarity on the rule". The Pirates challenged the call on the field but replay officials opted not to overturn it.

The throw sailed into right field, two runs scored and Diaz was on the ground for a little after the play.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was almost as angry as Hurdle, arguing that the play shouldn't even be reviewable. "There are new rules and things we've submitted to, and even us as catchers have mentally prepared ourselves for, and I don't agree that that's a legal slide".

"Like I said I'm not trying to ever hurt anyone", Rizzo noted. "Everybody is going to see the play and say this is the play you can make on the catcher on his most vulnerable position".

Diaz remained in the game, and the pair talked briefly when Rizzo returned for an at-bat in the ninth inning. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected for arguing the decision. "To be honest with you guys, it's late". You have a lane to slide in.

"If I get hit tonight, if I get hit tomorrow, if I get hit when we play them again, it happens", he said. "Fortunately, we broke it up, everyone comes out healthy". "Look at all my double plays I ever break up at second base".

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