The Colorado Rockies-Chicago Cubs NL wild-card game Tuesday gave us plenty of strange moments, including a catcher’s interference call in the bottom of the seventh and a pinch runner (for Anthony Rizzo, no less) stealing a base to set up the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. But a play on the basepaths in the bottom of the 11th inning may have been the strangest yet. With runners on first and second and one out, after a long delay to determine if batter Willson Contreras could continue after an injury, Contreras hit a ground ball to Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado. Javier Baez was running to third, and Arenado went and tagged him, and the two wound up in a hug:
You gonna tell me this country can't come together? pic.twitter.com/pe57vEkRvO
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 3, 2018
And that proved quite controversial, with Rockies’ manager Bud Black in particular arguing that Baez should have been called for interference with a potential double play. And he got some support from ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez.
Many found that pretty funny coming from Rodriguez:
Alex Rodriguez: “why is javy hugging him?! you can’t do that he should be out!”
also Alex Rodriguez: pic.twitter.com/84b6d11ywO
— Gavin (@Ridgellg22) October 3, 2018
"Strangest thing I've ever seen on a baseball field" – Alex Rodriguez, who once intentionally slapped the ball out of a defenders glove, then tried to play innocent.
— Jared Magenheimer (@JaredMagen) October 3, 2018
Alex Rodriguez, that is not “the craziest thing you’ve seen on a baseball field” You yelled at guy to get him to drop a pop fly. You swatted a tag away. Tell those stories when that happens.
— Cash Hartzell (@cashhartz) October 3, 2018
“The rules are the rules”
-prolific PED user Alex Rodriguez
— Joe Sonka 😐 (@joesonka) October 3, 2018
On the ESPN2 Statcast, cooler heads prevailed, with Jason Benetti, Mike Petriello, and Eduardo Perez pointing out that Arenado didn’t make an effort to make a throw, and that he actually grabbed Baez as well instead:
And this led to some other funny jokes:
This is like Rocky IV but real(er) https://t.co/gL6113kpWB
— David Brown (@AnswerDave) October 3, 2018
When the runner hugs you while the play is still live pic.twitter.com/ydaBLyVTF4
— ᴍᴀᴛᴛ ᴊᴀᴍᴇs (@_Matt_James_) October 3, 2018
At any rate, this was certainly unusual. And it provided even more ammunition for many to complain about A-Rod.