The Chicago Cubs dropped their formal protest of Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Now Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, the subject of the protest, is looking to the league for answers.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon took issue with Doolittle's pitching delivery that includes a toe tap similar to the one Chicago reliever Carl Edwards Jr. once used before he was told it's illegal.
Doolittle's delivery, however, isn't illegal.
When news broke of the protest being rescinded, Doolittle took to Twitter to discuss it further.
"OK but we still need further clarification from MLB on this," he wrote. "Rule 5.07 says a pitcher can't take a second step to home with either foot. I don't really think a toe tap or hesitation violate the spirit of the rule. And it's not being consistently applied."
In addition to Edwards, Seattle Mariners reliever Cory Gearrin was also forced to alter his delivery this season after his toe tap was deemed illegal. He'd been using the toe tap since last year without incident for a long time.
Doolittle thinks the league is wrong with its rulings regarding Edwards and Gearrin, and he says there's too much room for interpretation.
"The rule, to me, seems to exist to prevent pitchers from crow hopping down the mound to get closer to home plate. I don't think tapping your foot, as a timing mechanism, violates that rule. And I think Edwards and Gearrin's deliveries should be legal, too," he wrote.
"I've also heard that Edwards originally got his delivery cleared during spring training, then two weeks later it was deemed illegal," Doolittle added. "I realize this is only affecting a few pitchers in the league, but we need clarification so this doesn't turn into MLB's version of the tuck rule."