"By the book, Middlebrooks was dead or alive on that play. There was nothing he could do. 'If he lies prone on the dirt, he might be obstructing, according to the rulebook. If he gets up, he might be obstructing, according to the rulebook,' writes Samar Kalaf."
Sorry, Samar, but you are creating an either/or fallacy. All Middlebrooks had to do was put his legs down, like anyone would do if they were not TRYING to trip Craig! Craig tried to step over him and if his legs were down he would have. And despite the Atlantic Wire's histrionics, runner obstruction is NOT an incredibly rare call. Any regular baseball fan has seen it called before. It is a good rule and a valid, necessary rule. It goes hand in hand with fielder obstruction by the runner. Both players need to be cognizant of each other's right to move on the field and if they don't there are consequences. Ball players and coaches know this. It's really not that controversial.