WATCH: Anthony Rizzo called out for controversial offensive interference
|Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 9:41 PM- -|
CHICAGO — Derek Dietrich of the Cincinnati Reds is a veteran second baseman who is, undoubtedly, a solid baseball player. However, he largely garners attention for the incredibly high number of times that he gets beaned by pitches. Leading all active major leaguers in career hit-by-pitches, Dietrich, who wears an elbow protector, consistently crowds the plate and makes no effort to avoid getting plunked on the elbow.
The HBP tactic has not exactly won over fans and has led to Dietrich being questioned in terms of the legality of his tendency to lean into pitches. On Tuesday night, with the Reds battling the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Dietrich found himself caught up in a controversial moment of a different, yet similar, circumstance.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who, ironically, is the second-leading active HBP recipient, was called out for offensive interference when he collided with Dietrich while running to second base on a ground ball. However, Dietrich very clearly went out of his way to make contact with Rizzo in another example of him bending the rules to work in his favor.
Rizzo would have almost certainly been safe at second on the grounder, so it was technically a heads-up play by Dietrich. However, it is a play that most big leaguers would avoid making simply due to pride and respect for the game. Cubs manager Joe Maddon argued the call with the umpire who made it, but the ruling was not changed. Dietrich was caught on camera sporting a devilish smirk and winking at a teammate while Maddon was fuming on the field, essentially proving his intent.