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Report: MLB likely to adjust home plate collision and transfer rules

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, MLB and the MLBPA are likely to make adjustments to the current home plate collision and transfer rules. Officials from the union met with MLB executives recently to voice their displeasure over the new transfer rule, which is causing headaches.

Here is more from Rosenthal:

The first, at minimum, would be 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.

The second would be 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.

The transfer rule has caused quite a bit of outrage -- under the current rule, a clean transfer from glove to throwing hand is required for a catch -- but the blocking the plate rule has led to more confusion than anything. Clarification is needed about what constitutes blocking the plate and what happens when the throw takes the catcher into the baseline, in particular.

MLB and the union want to address these issues soon, before division and pennant races really start to heat up. Both sides agree the transfer rule needs tweaking and they will discuss it during a conference call with the umpires next week.

There is no timetable for adjustments to be implemented, but the good news is that both MLB and the union are eager to improve the system.

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