RULE 6.01(j) – SLIDING TO BASES ON DOUBLE PLAY ATTEMPTS
If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01. A “bona fide slide” for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:
(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
(2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;
(3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and
(4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
A runner who engages in a “bona fide slide” shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide. In addition, interference shall not be called where a runner’s contact with the fielder was caused by the fielder being positioned in (or moving into) the runner’s legal pathway to the base.
Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a “bona fide slide” if a runner engages in a “roll block,” or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder’s knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.
If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out. Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out, then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.
Personally, I like the new rule. A lot of slides throughout the years have been dubious at best. This rule is a good compromise between the old way and the overly restrictive NFHS force play slide rule.
The more interesting change for this year has to do with the “neighborhood play” where the middle infielder may or may not have taken his foot off the base before receiving the ball. This is now “reviewable”. I’ll have to find out what that means, but if it costs a manager his challenge to ask for a review, he’ll want to be sure he’ll get a reversal before wasting it.
I almost forgot…30 second mound visits. I’ll sort of go on the record with this that I don’t think this is a good idea. I have not read the details on this, but it sounds like the clock starts from the time the manager’s first little piggy touches down outside the dugout. Some of these managers are getting on in years and may need a Segway to make the trip in under 30 seconds. Will we need to invent a new stat tracking a coach’s split times from dugout to mound and back from mound to dugout. Sorry, Mike Scioscia, you are gonna have to trim a few seconds off your time, buddy.