Coming out of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, the story lines have been etched in stone: David Ortiz says goodbye, again. The Kansas City Royals have really good players and a Canadian tenor is treading in hot water after proclaiming his social stance during his performance of “O’ Canada.”

Lost in the celebration’s for Sally P. (Salvador Perez) and ASG MVP Eric Hosmer was how Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado cost the National League a shot at home field advantage in October.

OPINION: Nolan Arenado Just Cost NL Home-Field Advantage In World Series

With the N.L. trailing the A.L. 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Arenado stepped to the plate representing the game’s tying run.

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy grinded out a long at-bat before serving one back through the box for a base hit.


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With Murphy on first and one out, Arenado turned one over to Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who started a 5-4-3, around-the-horn double-play.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that the play was routine, and even from this video it is difficult to surmise where Arenado mis-stepped.

But after reviewing the replay of Fox’s broadcast (like a hundred times) it is impossible to deny that Arenado was dogging it up the line.


Arenado appears confused at first, moving at a snail’s pace out of the box. Then about two-thirds of the way down the first baseline he stops.

John Smoltz, a Hall of Fame pitcher and color-man for Fox’s broadcast of the ASG, intimated that he believed Arenado looked like he lost track of how many outs there were and when Donaldson fired to second, Smoltz speculated that the Rockies third baseman thought that was the ballgame.

It wasn’t.

And that’s why the “Respect 90” campaign, launched by Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, wages on.

During spring training, Maddon made a point to players that he wanted them to bust it down the first baseline as a means to putting good ju-ju into the atmosphere.

“It really is the message I want to get out there,” Maddon said. “I believe if we respect that 90 feet every day, a lot of good things are going to happen here.”

Not so coincidentally, it could be Maddon’s Cubs that suffer the consequences of Arenado’s error.

Chicago owns the best record in baseball and stand as a 4/1 favorite to reach the World Series.

But due to one Rockie’s half-hearted effort to climb up the first baseline, the Cubbies, and all other N.L. teams vying for a pennant, will play the majority of their games on the road should they reach the mountaintop.

Plenty of people think the rule is dumb.

“How could you decide something so important within an exhibition game?”

Easy. Remember 2002 in Milwaukee, when the game ended in a tie because neither team had any players left on the bench to continue, and it kinda just … ended?

No, maybe you know it better as the Torii Hunter game? When he robbed Barry Bonds of a home run early on and Bonds lifted Hunter into the air as he ran off the field.


Well former Commissioner Bud Selig remembers, and by extension, so does Major League Baseball. And neither of them ever want to look that awkward on camera again.

So Arenado having a brainfart halfway out of the batter’s box carries a little more weight than just “the integrity of the game.”

I am certainly not alone in this critique.

Acclaimed baseball writer Peter King tweeted “Way to run, Nolan Arenado.”


Arenado is a fine player. Maybe even better than that considering the entire sports media world has been calling him “the most underrated” player in the game.

But if you’re a fan of an N.L. team, knowing the team with home-field has won six of the last seven World Series, you would almost rather who is overrated … and runs out ground balls.

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