It was the first game of the season for the Yankees and already we have the first controversy of the year–and it's a telling one. If you missed the play yesterday, the game was tied in the top of the eighth with a man on third when Carlos Correa tapped a dribbler into fair territory. Dellin Betances fielded the ball and should have easily gotten the out, only Correa appeared to be running about a foot or two inside the baseline, clearly on the infield grass, and without a doubt in the way of any chance the pitcher had to get the ball to first. In a (perhaps unwise) attempt to make the play, Dellin ended up lobbing the ball over the head of the first baseman and Jose Altuve scored the go-ahead run.
The play caused Joe Girardi to go berserk when he realized the umpires weren't going to call Correa out for interference. His argument was that Betances was unable to make a direct throw to first base, so it had to be interference. However, the umpires disagreed and the play stood. After the game, Altuve commented that he would have gone either way–and I believe Betances probably should have checked the runner–but the problem is not in the result of the play, it's in the complete disregard for player safety because of how the rule reads.
Rule 6.01(a): A runner adjudged to have hindered a fielder attempting to make a play is out whether intentional or not. Key word: "adjudged"— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) April 5, 2016
Crew chief Dana DeMuth's explanation pic.twitter.com/snR3D7YH3h— Billy Witz (@billywitz) April 5, 2016
Regardless of the ridiculous argument DeMuth makes to back up his judgement, according to him, Dellin should have just pegged him with the ball.
Girardi: "Dellin's only option is to throw it and hit him. I don't think that's what baseball wants."— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) April 5, 2016
"I don't want to go in and tell my pitchers, ‘Just throw it and hit him in the back. Now you're asking one of our players to assault theirs."