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A closer look at the Dustin Pedroia-Manny Machado spiking

Dustin Pedroia went down after getting spiked by Manny Machado.
Dustin Pedroia went down after getting spiked by Manny Machado.(Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

A rule in baseball forbids takeout slides on middle infielders trying to turn a double play.

So when Orioles third baseman Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia in the left knee on Friday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell wanted a double play.

But the umpires did not grant a review, telling Farrell that Pedroia did not attempt a double play.

“My contention is he had no chance to [turn a double play] because he was blown up behind second base on the outfield side of the bag,” Farrell said after the Sox’ 2-0 loss.

In the eighth inning, Mark Trumbo grounded to shortstop to send Machado toward second.

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As Machado slid, he continued past the base, his right leg rising and eventually striking Pedroia’s knee. Pedroia went down and was helped off the field.

Pedroia didn’t want to talk about the rule or offer his take on Machado’s slide.

“I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a [expletive] rule, let’s be honest,” he said. “The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork, that’s it.”

Machado said he did not intentionally spike Pedroia.

“It wasn’t intentional. I was trying to get on the bag,” he said. “You can see the replay to see how I come off the bag and hits him in the calf. I’m not going to change the way I play. I’m going to keep playing hard and do what I have to do to help my team win. It wasn’t intentional.”

After the game, Pedroia said he was mad only that the Sox lost.

“I’m [ticked] we lost the game,’’ he said. “My job’s to get taken out and hang in there and turn double plays. That’s how you win games. I’m not mad. I’m mad we lost the game. We didn’t score any runs.”

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The Red Sox have two games left in this series against the Orioles. The teams play at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday.

The rule regarding slides on potential double plays was approved prior to the 2016 season. It reads as follows:

Rule 6.01(i) – Sliding to Bases on Double Play Attempts

If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01. A “bona fide slide” for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:

(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;

(2)is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;

(3)is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and

(4)slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

A runner who engages in a “bona fide slide” shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide. In addition, interference shall not be called where a runner’s contact with the fielder was caused by the fielder being positioned in (or moving into) the runner’s legal pathway to the base.

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Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a “bona fide slide” if a runner engages in a “roll block,” or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder’s knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.

If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.

Pedroia was helped off the field in the eighth inning.
Pedroia was helped off the field in the eighth inning.(Patrick Semansky/AP)