Tempers flare as Rangers-Angels game ends
Odor's attempt to break up game-ending double play ends in on-field fracas
ANAHEIM -- Andrelton Simmons took a spike to the shin on a slide from Rougned Odor, one that forced him to wrap his leg with bandages after the Angels' 6-0 win over the Rangers, and one that left a "nasty gash," according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia. The dugouts cleared. The bullpens cleared.
What exactly happened, in Simmons' eyes?
"Nothing," said Simmons, nursing a tub of part-strawberry, part-mango gelato, seemingly unperturbed by the events that took place. "I was trying to tell him, 'You forgot to say hello to your family for me.' He's like 'No, I didn't forget, I told them.' I was like 'No, they told me you didn't tell them.' He wasn't very happy about it so, it's OK."
Odor had a more concrete answer as to what actually went down.
"He pushed me," Odor said. "I was surprised because I made a good slide. It was not a dirty slide. I tried to break up the double play with a good slide. That's why I was surprised he pushed me like that.
"He was angry, but I was like, 'What are you talking about? I made a good slide,'" Odor added. "It was not dirty. [Ian] Kinsler was talking to me too and he was fine. This is part of the game."
Simmons was equally nonchalant when informed of Odor's assertion that the slide was clean.
"Sure," Simmons said, shrugging. "Good for him. ... I'm gonna eat my gelato and sleep well at night."
The fracas in question occurred immediately after Friday night's game was over, the play itself a 4-6-3 double play that ended a threat in the ninth inning and secured the Angels' win.
As Simmons turned two with a play at second base, Odor appeared to veer out of the baseline in an attempt to break up the double play by swiping at Simmons' leg on his slide.
Odor and Simmons exchanged words while their respective teammates held them back, with several Angels and Rangers players jawing at one another in the process.
"I thought the slide was appropriate," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I didn't see anything I thought should warrant the reaction we got. Situation where we are going to continue to play hard baseball. Situation where Rougned made contact with the bag. Not sure why the anxiety."
Regardless of the opinions and interpretations of what took place, there is a rule regarding slides into second on double-play attempts. The rule was amended after 2015, when Chase Utley's slide in that year's National League Division Series broke Ruben Tejada's leg.
The rule states: If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01.
A "bona fide slide" occurs when the runner:
• (1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
• (2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;
• (3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and
• (4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
Scioscia said that Simmons would be available for Saturday night's game. Simmons repeatedly stated that he was fine when asked about his injury postgame.
Odor has had his share of incidents at second base, both as a runner and a defender, most notably one that resulted in a fracas after a hard slide from Jose Bautista in 2016. Odor was suspended for eight games for the incident; Bautista one.
In a separate incident in 2015 against the Giants, Odor slid into second baseman Joe Panik, instigating another benches-clearing incident.
In another hard slide into second base in '15, Odor stepped on the planted leg of then-Angel Johnny Giavotella and overslid the bag by several feet in the process, leaving a gash on Giavotella's leg. On that one, Odor publicly apologized for his actions.