By Ken Reed

It’s 2016, and MLB finally decided it wasn’t wise to allow baserunners coming into second base to slide away from the bag and directly at the shortstop or second baseman — often with spikes up or shoulder lowered — for the clear purpose of wiping out the infielder with the ball on a double play attempt. That play is highly dangerous and has resulted in a lot of serious injuries through the years.

A few years ago, MLB decided to protect catchers by no longer allowing runners to barrel into defenseless catchers at home plate. This sliding rule at second base was the logical next step.

Also, as part of the new rule, infielders will no longer be able to employ the “neighborhood” play, i.e., simply coming close to second base without touching the bag on the front end of double play attempts.

Colorado Rockies manager, Walt Weiss, a former shortstop, is a proponent of the new sliding rule.

“I love the fact that we protect players,” said Weiss.

“I’m all for it. We made some changes to protect catchers in recent years. I’m glad to see we’ll protect the middle infielders too.”

The issue of safety at second base came to the forefront in last year’s playoffs when the New York Mets’ Ruben Tejada suffered a broken leg when the Dodgers’ Chase Utley targeted Tejada.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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