MLB news: Home plate collision, transfer rules likely to change

Tom Pennington

Which changes are being made to two of baseball's most maligned rules? How much longer does Kevin Towers have as Diamondbacks GM? What is Dontrelle Willis looking to do now that his career is essentially over?

With complaints emanating from nearly every corner of the sport, two highly controversial rules -- those regarding home plate collisions and transfer rules for fielders -- will likely be tweaked before playoff races begin in earnest, according to Fox's Ken Rosenthal.

The transfer rule is seen as especially problematic by many, with officials from the players' union already meeting with league executives to voice their frustrations with the implementation and interpretation of the new rule.

According to Rosenthal, they will be introducing "a less strict interpretation of the transfer rule, in which umpires would rule on catches the way they did in the past, using more of a common-sense approach rather than following the letter of the law." As it stands now, a clean transfer from glove to throwing hand is required for a "catch," which is felt -- almost across the board -- to be too restrictive, especially when used in conjunction with instant replay.

The other rule change will mostly seek to clarify where catchers can stand and what rights the baserunner has when there's a play at the plate. As Rosenthal explains it, the change would be, "at minimum, a guideline in which catchers will be asked to give the runner a lane to the plate in their initial positioning, further reducing the possibility of collisions at home plate."

There's currently no specific timetable regarding when these changes will be officially decided upon or implemented, but look for it to happen sooner rather than later.

D'Backs general manager on hot seat?

It's unclear when exactly public support of one's job performance became the quickest way to recognize that said job isn't secure, but the dreaded vote of confidence has reared its ugly head in Arizona according to AZCentral columnist Dan Bickley.

In an extended interview, longtime Diamondbacks executive Ken Kendrick fully backed manager Kirk Gibson, doing so while repeatedly calling him "Gibby." But Gibson's boss -- general manager Kevin Towers -- wasn't as lucky. Kendrick made clear his desire to begin relying more on the data-driven decisions made by his previous general manager, current Padres boss Josh Byrnes. And that's not exactly Towers' forte.

"When we look at where we are and where we were, I can compare two regimes," Kendrick said. "I don't want to say polar opposites - that's too strong - but there was a pretty significant reliance on data with Josh than with Kevin. I always hoped for, with each, more balance. It's easy to say, but not always easy to achieve. I think we know we don't have the balance I still think is the right way to go, and I think we need to recognize (that)."

While a change might not be imminent, Towers may want to update his resume just in case.

Dontrelle Willis' future plans?

It appears Dontrelle Willis will try to make it as a pitching coach, according to Jon Heyman of CBS.

Mr. Walk-Off No-Hitter

Bartolo Colon, Simply the Best

Of all the wonderful things that Bartolo Colon has brought into the game of baseball, this GIF may be his greatest contribution yet.


(Don't worry Mets fans, it could be worse.)

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