Major League Baseball moving toward a “Chase Utley Rule” for slides into second

26 Comments

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports from the Owners’ Meetings in Dallas that “momentum continues to build toward” a rule change that he correctly notes will likely be referred to as “The Chase Utley Rule.”

Specifically, a change in the rules which would be aimed at eliminating the sorts of hard slides into second base, the likes of which Chase Utley demonstrated in the playoffs, breaking Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Davidoff does not have any details on what, exactly, such a rule would entail but does allude to the so-called “Buster Posey Rule” which went into effect a couple of years ago in order to protect catchers from home plate collisions.

Of course, like the Buster Posey Rule, a Chase Utley Rule would be completely unnecessary if Major League Baseball would simply require its umpires to enforce and its players to abide by rules already on the books. In this case it’s Rule 6.05(m), which already  says a baserunner is out when:

(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:

Rule 6.05(m) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.

That rule totally and completely covers the Utley-Tejada situation. It does involve a judgment on the part of umpires, however, and baseball has run screaming from umpire judgment in recent years, preferring overly-complicated bright line rules which make for more, not less, confusion. Indeed, in this case I’d be shocked if whatever spins out of the Commissioner’s office doesn’t involve “zones” governing the precise geography of acceptable slides and finite measurements between a baserunner and the bag. This despite the fact that it’s pretty damn obvious when a runner is trying harder to take out an infielder than he is to simply reach a bag safely.

But hey, new rules are always better, right?

Will fans be allowed to attend MLB playoff games?

The MLB Playoffs are underway!
Getty Images
Leave a comment

After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.

Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?

There have been no spectators at any games this season but MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful that fans will be able to attend the National League Championship Series and World Series Games. Both will take place in Texas which has been one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year.

“We are pressing ahead to have fans in Texas with a ticket sales announcement expected soon,” said Manfred to reporters at USA Today Sports. “One of the most important things to our game is the presence of fans. Starting down the path of having fans in stadiums, and in a safe and risk-free environment, is very, very important to our game.’’

Earlier this month, the Dallas Cowboys allowed over 21,000 fans into AT&T Stadium for the home opener. However, the MLB is still waiting for approval from Texas government officials. ALCS and NLCS games are expected to begin on October 11 and 12, respectively.

Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.

MLB Playoffs Format

Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2

All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.

American League

No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees

National League

No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals

Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10

The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18

The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28

The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.

        RELATED: Dodgers confident going into NL wild-card series vs Brewers