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MLB and MLBPA will agree on 'clarification' of home plate collision rule

The first year under the new rules was not clear enough or well-liked.

Bob Levey

What is and what isn't allowed at home plate has been somewhat murky this year. The new rules to stop the worst of the home plate collisions have come under fire repeatedly, either because players or managers or fans don't understand them, but that might stop soon. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, Major League Baseball and the Players' Union are set to make a "clarification" of the rule as early as Monday afternoon.

Rule 7.13 was officially introduced prior to spring training games so that everyone who would need to figure it out -- players, managers, umps and so on -- could spend time with it. With spring training long past and all but a few weeks of the regular season now gone, that still hasn't happened on a wide enough scale, given MLB and the MLBPA feel the need for clarification still exists.

Stark reported on the need for clarification on Saturday, reminding everyone that the playoffs are less than a month away. Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who has dealt with home plate controversy this year, agreed:

"What's going to happen in the playoffs?" asked Marlins manager Mike Redmond this week. "You know something is going to happen, when runs are at a premium and there are so many bang-bang plays at home plate and everything is magnified 100 times over. What's going to happen? It would be a real shame if a playoff game -- or two, or three -- gets decided on a play like what happened to us."

It's unclear just what this clarification will end up being, but it's obvious that something is needed before it gets to be playoff time and this whole new rule becomes more of a problem than it's already been.