Joe Maddon, Jon Lester Rip MLB's Slide Rule After Ian Happ Double-Play Call

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2017

MESA, AZ - MARCH 04:  Ian Happ #86 of the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at Sloan Park on March 4, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images)
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and starting pitcher Jon Lester criticized Major League Baseball's slide rule after Ian Happ was called for an illegal slide at second base vs. the St. Louis Cardinals in his first MLB game Saturday.

Happ slid hard through the bag in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on an Anthony Rizzo grounder, which resulted in a double-play ruling.

In a video posted by ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers, Maddon ripped the rule and blamed Major League Baseball for its implementation rather than the umpires for calling it.

He called for the league to get rid of the rule and offered his perspective on the play: "When you slide directly over the bag and you're called out where there's no chance for a runner to be thrown out at first base and there was nothing egregiously dangerous on the part of our runner, don't give me hyperbole and office-created rules."

Lester also expressed his displeasure with the rule, according to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago: "These guys have turned double plays their entire lives. They know how to get the hell out of the way. ... We're out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now. I'm over this damn slide rule."

The play occurred with Chicago trailing 3-1. St. Louis went on to win 5-3, although Happ did hit his first career MLB home run later in the contest.

Chicago dropped to 18-18 with the loss, which leaves it fourth in the NL Central and 2.5 games behind the division-leading Cardinals.

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