Major League Baseball umpires take note: Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras isn’t about to play by your rules.
The new rule changes in baseball with the intent of speeding up the pace of play — most notably a limit of six mound visits per game — certainly have rubbed some players and fans the wrong way, and Contreras may be chief among them.
Why? Well, because he plans on just ignoring the mound visit rule altogether.
“I don’t even care,” Contreras said Tuesday, via ESPN. “If I have to go (out there) again and pay the price for my team I will.
“What about a tight game or an extra-inning game and you have to go out there?” Contreras posited. “They cannot say anything about that. That’s my team. If they are going to fine me for mound visit No. 7, I’ll pay the price.”
Hey, you can’t fault Contreras for feeling that way. Not only is it tough to enforce (and define) what exactly a mound visit is given the way the game is played nowadays, but there also are plenty of circumstances where a seventh visit may be necessary.
The problem is, it may not be as simple as a fine if the limit is exceeded.
That certainly adds a different dimension to just mowing past the rule because you don’t like it.
In any event, there almost always will be a gripe with a rule change no matter what it is. But you can’t fault Contreras — who noted he is especially concerned about needing mound visits with recently-added Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish — or other players for having an issue with a change that makes such a profound impact on strategy.