Brewers vs. Dodgers: Manny Machado's slide causes a stir in NLCS Game 3; here's what the MLB rule book says

The revised slide rule at second base has been a fertile source of controversy ever since it was implemented, and Game 3 of the NLCS between the Brewers and Dodgers provided us the latest example. 

In the fourth inning on Monday night, L.A.'s Manny Machado took off from first on Cody Bellinger's grounder to the right side, and at first it appeared Bellinger's speed prevented a possible double play. Upon review, however ... 

It was ruled that Machado interfered with Orlando Arcia subsequent to the force out at second, and as such Bellinger was called out at first, as well, even though Arcia really had no chance of getting him. That's a 3-6-1 double play in the books thanks to Machado's interference. 

Here's the telling screenshot ... 

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Machado reached out and, without exaggeration, grabbed Arcia's leg. That would seem to qualify as "willfully and deliberately" interfering with the fielder, which you can't do, per Rule 6.01. 

Also, the revised rules say there are four conditions the runner must satisfy for the slide to be considered legal:

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

  2. He is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;

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

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

Machado's slide can certainly be interpreted to be in violation of No. 3 above. So he's probably in violation of the rules on two different fronts, which is why the call on the field was overturned. As you see in the video above, Machado also came close to interfering in the second inning, but that one was allowed to stand. 

Anyhow, had Machado made a legal slide, the Dodgers would've had Bellinger on first with one out and Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal due up. We'll never know, of course, but the inning could've unfolded differently, and Jhoulys Chacin might've been chased from the game earlier. 

Machado, though, didn't allow that to happen. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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