MLB Rule Change

Utley-Tejada-slideThis just in, we have a new rule change to Baseball

Under the new rule, slides on potential double plays will require runners to make an attempt to reach and remain on the base. Changing direction or trying to initiate a roll block for the purpose of initiating contact.

Runners can still make contact with fielders but only if they are going towards the base and the fielder is in their way. Runners also have to make contact with the ground before making contact with a fielder. You can review the finer details of the rule change here.

This was nothing of a surprise rule change and for the most part it seems to have been a bit of a compromise between the MLB and players.

The infamous Chase Utley that took Ruben Tejada out of the playoffs was almost certainly the catalyst for creating this rule. Plenty of injuries to second basemen and shortstops have occurred over the years due to slides intending to disrupt double plays. The fact that the Utley slide took place during the playoffs and had millions of eyeballs watching created a bit of a PR crisis for MLB. In a way, they had to respond to this incident.

At the same time players were worried that this rule would take away from the physical nature of baseball and affect the way players prepare and play the game. The MLB players association was greatly involved in helping MLB adopt this rule.

This rule is in some ways a delayed rule to the home plate collision rule that aimed to reduce the number of home plate collisions and injuries associated with those collisions.

What do you think? A move in the right direction for baseball? Does the rule take away from how baseball was meant to be played? Who do you think is going to be the first player convicted by this rule? My money is on Matt Holliday.

Comments are closed.