Letting Pie slide

As long as we’re second-guessing and debating and looking back with one hand covering our eyes, I’ll chime in regarding Felix Pie’s “slide” into home plate in the eighth inning.

Here’s a little reminder.

Joba Chamberlain bounced a pitch with Pie on third base and the Orioles clinging to a one-run lead. The ball went to the backstop and took a big bounce toward catcher Russell Martin, whose throw to the plate arrived ahead of Pie. Chamberlain applied the tag, and you know the rest.

At first glance, I thought Pie produced one of the most awkward slides in history, as if he decided too late to get down and never really made it there.

It turns out that Pie slid into Chamberlain’s foot, which caused him to pop back up and turn his body toward that same backstop. He was clearly out.

I have no issue with Pie avoiding a collision with Chamberlain. Doesn’t matter that it was outfielder against pitcher.

Let me give you the tale of the tape: Chamberlain weighs 240 pounds. Pie is 185 and prone to injuries. He would have ended up on his back about halfway up the left field line, and the Orioles would have been preparing for another roster move.

Pie’s mistake was the slide, if that’s what we’re calling it. He did appear to start it a little late, and he probably should have gone wide and reached for the plate with his hand.

Easy for me to say from my couch.

At least he didn’t dive head-first.

Don’t forget that Steve Johnson, son of former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, makes his Triple-A debut tonight after being promoted yesterday from Double-A Bowie. Norfolk will try to improve on its 1-7 record in Durham.

For now, the rest of the Tides’ rotation includes Mike Ballard, Chorye Spoone, Ryan Drese and Rick VandenHurk.

The Tides and Scranton Wilkes-Barre are the only International League teams without a win from a starting pitcher.

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