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Reds outfielder Tommy Pham has never been one to mince words and didn’t hold back when asked about Padres designated hitter Luke Voit after Cincinnati’s 6-2 loss to San Diego on Tuesday.
In the bottom half of the first, with the Padres ahead 2-1, second baseman Jurickson Profar ripped one down the left field line that sent Pham in pursuit. Voit, who had gotten on via a base on balls, elected to take a shot at scoring all the way from first. But when the relay throw made its way into the mitt of catcher Tyler Stephenson, Voit was beat by several steps.
And that’s when Voit took matters into his own hands, and collided with Stephenson, who held onto the ball. Stephenson exited the game and was later diagnosed with a concussion.
It was a play that Pham described as “dirty.”
“The way his [Voit] hands hit him, it was dirty as fu*k,” Pham said. “I don’t like it at all. The way his hands hit him in the face, it was dirty. If Luke wants to settle it, I get down really well. Anything, Muay Thai, whatever. I’ve got a [gym] owner here who will let me use his facility. So, fu*k ’em.”
Voit, meanwhile, saw it a different way. He said after the game that he was just trying to make a play.
“I wasn’t trying to take him out or anything,” Voit said. “I guess my elbow just kind of smoked his head a little bit. Hope he’s all right, no hard feelings. It’s baseball. I wasn’t trying to make it dirty or anything. I’m just trying to make a play obviously.”
The play itself is exactly the type of play that MLB has tried to eradicate from its game. Enacted in 2014, rule 7.13 states that “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).” If a runner violates the rule, he is declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.
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