Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Jones: Baseball should slide back to its old rule

RECOMMENDED READING


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.

Comments
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17