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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rosenthal: MLB likely to adjust two rules: plays at home & transfer catches

From the beginning, baseball promised that if its new rules warranted adjustments, those adjustments would be made.

Two such adjustments are likely to occur, according to sources with both Major League Baseball and the players union.

The first, at minimum, would be a guideline in which catchers will be asked to give the runner a lane to the plate in their initial positioning, further reducing the possibility of collisions at home plate.

The second would be a less strict interpretation of the transfer rule, in which umpires would rule on catches the way they did in the past, using more of a common-sense approach rather than following the letter of the law.

Officials from the union met with MLB executives earlier this week to voice their displeasure over what constitutes a catch now that baseball has expanded instant replay, sources said.

Both sides agreed that certain plays are being called incorrectly, and MLB officials will seek to clarify what constitutes a catch in a conference call with members of the umpires union early next week, sources said.

In the first three weeks of the season, umpires and replay officials occasionally called “no catch” on balls that once were considered outs, ruling that the fielder must transfer the ball to his throwing hand cleanly.

The rulebook states that a player must have “secure possession” of the ball in his glove or hand, but the interpretation of the rule changed to include a clean transfer with the inception of expanded replay.

“To say it has been a hot topic with the players would be an understatement,” one union official said.

Thanks to Stenerude Boy.

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb

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   1. Shibal Posted: April 19, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4689042)
It's good to see that they are so quick and so willing to admit mistakes. The transfer rule enforcement was awful.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4689048)
Agree with post 1... That transfer rule was ridiculous. The Nationals got screwed the other night because of that(ultimately the game was 8-0 and it didn't matter, but it more or less screwed them from having a chance at any type of comeback)

The problem I had with the way the old rule was interpreted, was that there was many plays in which the fielder didn't catch the ball and made the illusion of transferring it to get the "out on transfer" call in their favor. If you catch it cleanly and then attempt to transfer it, it's obvious that it was lost on the transfer (which is what happened with the Nationals guy)

Note: I'm not saying that the guys in the past were trying to fool the system, but that they were attempting to quickly transfer before they actually caught the ball, and then losing it, in that case, that is a non-catch in my opinion. At some point in time during the play, you have to have physically caught/have control of the ball for it to be ruled a catch.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4689049)
Of course I'm a technology guy, if I was the MLB, I would have an intern go watch a bunch of games looking for examples of what you want to be ruled a catch, and what not, and make a video of that to show to all the umps and teams.
   4. Rickey! No. You move. Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4689061)
It sounds as if the umps intentionally went dick-weed on the transfer as a response to replay.
   5. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4689062)
I'm not saying that the guys in the past were trying to fool the system, but that they were attempting to quickly transfer before they actually caught the ball...


This is commonly known as trying to turn the double play. Seriously, middle infielders are specifically taught to NOT catch the ball on the pivot, because that fraction of a second can make the difference in getting the runner at first. So you keep your glove open and use it to redirect the ball into your throwing hand. That's been called an out at second for 150 years. Now it's not an out any more. Or maybe now it is again. But at least they've cleared up that this isn't going to apply to catching fly balls, and that's obviously a good thing.

Of course I'm a technology guy, if I was the MLB, I would have an intern go watch a bunch of games looking for examples of what you want to be ruled a catch, and what not, and make a video of that to show to all the umps and teams.


Absolutely. Better yet, a whole bunch of interns. And do it BEFORE you put the replay system in place.
   6. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4689066)
Hallelujah.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4689069)
This is commonly known as trying to turn the double play. Seriously, middle infielders are specifically taught to NOT catch the ball on the pivot, because that fraction of a second can make the difference in getting the runner at first. So you keep your glove open and use it to redirect the ball into your throwing hand. That's been called an out at second for 150 years. Now it's not an out any more. Or maybe now it is again. But at least they've cleared up that this isn't going to apply to catching fly balls, and that's obviously a good thing.


I know that, I played second base growing up and into high school. My point was that if you were willing to not cleanly catch the ball, then you accept the consequences of not fully catching the ball. Over the past couple of decades the rules on what was acceptable has lessened, to the point that a change needed to be made. A transfer is not "Directing the ball to your throwing hand". It's catching the ball and transferring it to your hand. If you are "deflecting" the ball into your throwing hand, you have to have possession of it at some point in time for it to count.

But it hasn't been called an out for 150 years. First off the glove wasn't that big of a deal 150 years ago, second off, double plays were less common, and third off even 30 years ago, I've seen the ump not rule a play a catch frequently if the fielder didn't have possession of it, this ruling a catch on the transfer in which the fielder never really had possession is a relatively new thing in the history of the game. The umps had become lax in their calling of a catch, the point of this new rule was supposed to tighten that up, and instead they went overboard(as MLB likes to do)
   8. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4689083)
I disagree that granting the out on balls dropped on the transfer is a recent change, and I disagree that the smaller gloves of days of yore made the continuous motion catch and transfer less common or less of an issue. But those are quibbles, really. My important points are: 1) I really don't have a problem with calling this either way, as long as MLB decides on a specific definition of what constitutes control of the ball on that kind of play and applies it consistently, but 2) requiring a clean catch and separate transfer would constitute a change from the way everyone currently playing in MLB has always expected that play to be called.
   9. bobm Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4689176)
http://www.sports-reference.com/blog/2014/04/manager-umpire-challenges-added-to-baseball-reference-com/
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4689183)
That is nice, I was having a tough time finding any current data and had to go by the word of an article written. (that was for another thread)
   11. bobm Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4689211)
[10] See also closecallsports.com

for example:

closecallsports.com/2014/04/mlb-instant-replay-review-110-lance.html?m=0

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