From basically the beginning of baseball, as long as an infielder had control over a ball while making an out, it didn’t matter if they bobbled the ball trying to make another out. This season, the MLB decided to revoke that first out if the infielder lost the ball on the transfer. Needless to say, players and coaches immediately weren’t fans.
However, following the concerns of the teams, the MLB, the players’ union and the umpires’ union got together to change the rule back to how it was originally interpreted.The change is effective for all of Friday’s games.
The exact wording of the rule change states that the first out stands “if the fielder had complete control over the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after intentionally opening his glove to make the transfer to his throwing hand. There is no requirement that the fielder successfully remove the ball from his glove in order for it be ruled a catch.
“If the fielder drops the ball while attempting to remove it to make a throw, the Umpires should rule that the ball had been caught, provided that the fielder had secured it in his glove before attempting the transfer. The Umpires will continue to use their judgment as to whether the fielder had complete control over the ball before the transfer.”
The rule change should be beneficial to everyone, as even the usually-clean Dustin Pedroia fell victim to the new rule in the Boston Red Sox’s blowout loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
The MLB is also looking into revising the home plate collision rule.
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