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Catcher Collisions Newsbeat

Friday, August 19, 2022

Have you noticed MLB overturning more calls at the plate? Here’s why

After years of these sorts of plays flying largely under the radar, officials at the league office started to notice what looked to be catchers pushing the limits of what was considered legal. Essentially, a creep back toward blocking the plate that took advantage of the safety created by the collision rule. Some teams noticed, too, and called it out to the commissioner’s office.

Since the play is somewhat subjective, there are guidelines, but ultimately an umpire must make a judgment. One replay review crew might let a catcher get away with it, so to speak, while another would not.

At least one team suspected that umpires had been given instructions to crack down and call the rule more strictly.

But in a statement to Yahoo Sports, MLB said: “There has been no change to the home plate collision rule or its interpretation, and we appreciate its continued positive impact in serving the goal of player health. In response to increased recent behavior by catchers that violated the rule, we provided a routine reminder to Clubs and umpires regarding the responsibilities of the catcher and the runner. The primary message was that catchers may not block the pathway of runners unless they are in possession of the ball or are in the act of fielding the ball.”...

After the particularly controversial call in Minnesota, and after teams started to reach out for clarification, MLB did circulate a memo early last week among teams and umpires that included a presentation of what constitutes legal and illegal catcher positioning, with detailed photo examples for various situations.

The intent is to create greater consistency — and strict adherence to a rule designed with safety in mind — but it could be seen as another instance in which the league has changed the enforcement of a longstanding rule midway through the season, as it did last year with the ban on sticky stuff.

The minutiae of rule enforcement is inherently esoteric, but these particular plays are always impactful. The difference between an out at home and a run scoring has an outsized ability to sway the ultimate result of a game. Teams that lose these challenges are likely going to continue to be incensed, but at least now they can’t say they weren’t warned.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2022 at 04:13 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: catcher collisions, replay

Monday, August 08, 2022

Ejected Twins manager Rocco Baldelli blasts overturned call in loss to Jays as ‘one of the worst moments’ of umpiring he has ever seen

An overturned call in the 10th inning on Sunday led to a 3-2 Toronto Blue Jays victory and an ejection for Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who labeled the play “one of the worst moments I think we’ve seen of umpiring in any game I’ve ever been a part of in baseball.”

Caleb Thielbar pitched the 10th for the Twins and gave up a sacrifice fly to Toronto’s Cavan Biggio, with Whit Merrifield running from third. Merrifield was originally called out at the plate trying to score the winning run, but the call was reversed after Twins catcher Gary Sanchez was deemed to have interfered with Merrifield.

“It’s one of the worst moments I think we’ve seen of umpiring in any game I’ve ever been a part of in baseball, and I think it was pathetic what just played out,’’ said Baldelli, who was ejected for arguing the call, the eighth time in his career he was thrown out of a game and third this season.

Replay officials ruled Sanchez did not establish a clear lane for Merrifield, whose right foot collided with Sanchez’s left leg as he slid into home plate. The out would have ended the inning.

“I had a feeling there was going to be a play at the plate,’’ Merrifield said. “Put my head down first couple steps then looked up and tried to figure out how to get into home plate and saw Gary straddling home plate, so tried to just slide into him, straight into him best I could. I know what the rule is; it was just a matter of if they were going to call it.’‘

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2022 at 04:11 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, catcher collisions, twins

 

 

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