MLB Explains Why Doolittle's Delivery Was Legal, Cubs Drop Protest | Bleacher Nation

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MLB Explains Why Doolittle’s Delivery Was Legal, Cubs Drop Protest

Chicago Cubs

I don’t think we have to belabor this too much, because we already know (1) Joe Maddon was not really trying to get Saturday night’s game replayed, and (2) it always seemed like Sean Doolittle’s delivery was different than the one that got Carl Edwards, Jr. into trouble at the start of the season. Thus, the outcome was pretty predictable here.

Per, MLB informed the Cubs that Nationals closer Sean Doolittle’s toe-tap hesitation delivery does not violate the rule against a “second step” when delivering a pitch, in contrast to the foot resetting Carl Edwards, Jr. was doing in his first outing this year, which ran afoul of the rule. The Cubs have dropped their protest of the game.

“They called [what Doolittle did] a graze as opposed to an actual foot being on the ground,” Joe Maddon said, per “Again, I don’t know how that differentiates, I really don’t. They’re just saying Carl put his whole foot on the ground, and that, somehow, is different.”

With all due respect to Maddon, and with an understanding of the battle he’s fighting, I feel like I can see a pretty clear difference:

Doolittle took to Twitter to express his position, now that the heat of the moment had worn off (and I think he’s right about all of this):

So, for now, it appears that a little incidental tap is OK, but a full-on plant of the foot is not. That seems like the right balance to me, because Doolittle is right, the whole point is to prevent a Carter Capps step-and-jump situation. That’s not what Edwards was ever doing, mind you, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.