Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jones: Baseball should slide back to its old rule

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) out at second as Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe (11) misses the throw to first during the sixth inning of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) out at second as Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe (11) misses the throw to first during the sixth inning of the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, July 7, 2016.

Last week, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo got into a postgame shouting match with umpire Jim Joyce after the Nats lost when Joyce called a game-ending double play because Washington's Jason Werth used an illegal slide. That same day, Rays manager Kevin Cash asked for a replay because the Angels' Albert Pujols didn't slide at second base on a potential double play when Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe made a throwing error.

Let's get this straight first: Rizzo is a pinhead for accosting an umpire in the tunnel after a game. You don't do that.

Having said that, you know what would fix all these controversies about slides at second base, as well as plays at home plate? Going back to the old rules.

The game of baseball worked just fine for more than 100 years and then because of two plays, everything was changed.

In last year's playoffs, the Dodgers' Chase Utley broke the leg of the Mets' Ruben Tejada. It was a dirty slide and it should have been a double play.

In 2011, Giants catcher Buster Posey sustained a broken leg when he blocked home plate and was run over by the Marlins' Scott Cousins.

Those two plays sparked major change for baseball. Now you are not allowed to go out of your path to break up a double play at second base, the "neighborhood play'' (where infielders need to just be near the bag for a force out) has been outlawed, catchers cannot block home plate and runner must avoid bowling over catchers.

A big problem is the interpretation of those rules. Frankly, it's tough for even the players to know what's allowed and what's not. Slides that look illegal are not called. And plays at home plate? No one — not even the replay officials — seem to agree on what you can and cannot do.

Certainly, you hate to see anyone get hurt and that's the big reason baseball implemented these rules. But baseball seemed to overreact to just a couple of plays.

Go back to the old rules. Players police themselves if something is dirty and umpires always used pretty good judgment in the past on players that stepped outside the spirit of the rules.

We rarely had a controversy.

Hey, it worked for the past 100 years. It can work for the next 100.

Jones: Baseball should slide back to its old rule 07/08/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 9, 2016 7:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  2. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, activate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  3. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    The Austin Pruitt experiment might be over, or at least put on pause. After allowing six runs over seven innings to Seattle on Friday, the rookie didn't get through the fourth Wednesday, giving up five runs on four homers. His ERA for past six starts: 5.29.

  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.