MLB logoMLB

MLB, Union Reportedly Plan to Change Rule for Sliding into 2nd Base

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, right, lands next to Los Angeles Dodgers' Chase Utley who broke up a double play during the seventh inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Division Series, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 8, 2016

In the aftermath of severe leg injuries to New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada and Pittsburgh Pirates standout Jung Ho Kang last season, Major League Baseball and the players union are reportedly close to changing the rules on sliding into second base.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported Monday the two sides have found "a lot of common ground" in their ongoing deliberations about the rules. They're working to implement an amendment that will go into effect for the upcoming 2016 season.   

Kang tore his left MCL in a collision during a September 17 game against the Chicago Cubs, while Tejada was taken out of Game 2 in the National League Division Series by Los Angeles Dodgers veteran Chase Utley. 

Tejada suffered a fractured right fibula and missed the Mets' ensuing run to the World Series. Utley received a two-game suspension for his conduct.

"Whatever the rules are I think we all should abide by them, and go from there if they decide to make a change…and play accordingly," said Utley last week of a potential rules alteration, per FoxSports.com's Adrian Garro.

According to Olney, the rules adjustments will require runners to touch the base or at least make a clear effort to do so. The two sides are debating whether instant replay will be used to determine if an outlawed slide takes place.

Major League Baseball is making a commendable effort to address a safety issue. Aside from the two notable aforementioned exceptions, though, runners and infielders seem to have a feel for the situation when a double-play bid is in progress.

There is a delicate balance to strike in this potential rule change. The players have argued, per Olney, that they're coached from a young age to break up a double-play attempt at any cost when sliding into second. Defenders have also been trained to watch out for incoming runners and are adept at adjusting without injury more often than not.

If replay is indeed called upon to review slides, critics of the game pace of America's pastime will have even more fodder for debate.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices