MLB looking to change slide rule to protect middle infielders

Wednesday December 9th, 2015

Major League Baseball is considering changing the rule for how runners can slide into second base in order to protect middle infielders from injury, according to the Associated Press

The league is weighing offering new protections to middle infielders, who can be injured in collisions with baserunners while trying to turn double-plays. However, the issue received new attention when New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada broke his leg on a hard slide by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley in front of a national audience during this year's playoffs.

MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre said that the league is working with the players’ association to draft the rule, but he is not sure if it will be in place for the start of the season. 

“I'm not saying it's not going to be in place by this season,'' he said. ''It depends on if we can find a common ground.”

MLB banned collisions between runners and catchers at home plate before the 2014 season. That move was almost directly related to the gruesome broken leg of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, one of the most popular players in baseball. 

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Torre also addressed the safety of fans in Major League ballparks. After a season where fans were hit by balls and bats flying into the stands, causing a few serious injuries, teams and owners have suggested increasing the protective netting that usually just hangs behind the backstop. 

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