It’s been quite some time since baseball fans have seen an old-school play at the plate. A play that brings you back to the days when a catcher could get absolutely annihilated at the plate by an incoming runner. The Buster Posey rule came into existence, and we had to settle for the exciting close plays at the plate. Matt Kemp brought back a little of the old school on Wednesday night when the Dodgers took on Texas.
Kemp was on second base with two outs when Kiké Hernandez smoked a base hit to right. Nomar Mazara came up with a strong throw to the plate that had Kemp beat by two or three steps. The problem came when catcher Robinson Chirinos came into the running lane and blocked Kemp’s path to the plate. Sure, Kemp could have just given up and accepted the fact he was out. But that’s just not how he plays the game. And I’m sure Dodgers fans can appreciate that.
Kemp bowled into Chirinos and knocked the 34-year-old catcher flat on his back. Chirinos obviously took exception to being bulldozed, and let Matt know with a shove that moved himself backward more than Kemp. Kemp was clearly upset and seemed to try and reason with him, but then unloaded a huge shove back. That’s when things got a little exciting.
Benches clear between #Rangers & #Dodgers. Robinson Chirinos didn’t give much of a path at home plate. Matt Kemp bowled him over. Chirinos took exception. Kemp appeared to take exception to hard tag. Benches cleared. Kemp ejected.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) June 14, 2018
Eventually, everything quieted down and no one appeared to have absorbed a punch or any sort of damage. The best part was that Cody Bellinger was right there as soon as the shoving match began. Gotta love when your young guys are there to stand up for your… let’s say, aging guys.
Chirinos and Kemp were both ejected, likely for the scuffle that ensued. Kemp was adamant that he had no ill intention in his attempt to score in the post-game interviews. He referenced the play in Washington where he decided to slide very late ad hurt his ankle as a reason he did not this time.
People can whine and groan all they want, but I loved how this all played out. Kemp made the best decision for the Dodgers and actually slowed down a little before hitting Chirinos. It looked like a clean enough play to me to warrant the action. Sometimes I miss old-school baseball. The Dodgers are off today but will be back at home for the weekend series against San Francisco.
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