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MLB’s home-plate collision rule confounds

Minnesota’s Josh Willingham, left, slides into home safely as White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers awaits the throw. (Associated Press)
Minnesota’s Josh Willingham, left, slides into home safely as White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers awaits the throw. (Associated Press)

Major League Baseball’s new rule on home-plate collisions is causing some confusion.

Houston manager Bo Porter had a telephone conversation with Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, a special assistant to baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Porter said La Russa told him the league intends to clarify its rule on blocking the plate, and how such calls are challenged and reviewed.

“My understanding is there will be a memo coming out that will bring some more clarity to it,” Porter said before the Astros played Toronto on Wednesday night.

Porter telephoned La Russa after Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes was called out at the plate on an infield grounder in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss.

On Saturday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi spoke to Joe Torre, an MLB executive vice president, over his concern there was “confusion to the rule.” New York’s Francisco Cervelli was called out trying to score against Toronto, even though Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole was straddling the plate before receiving the ball.

In January, baseball adopted a new rule on plate collisions on an experimental basis for this year. Catchers are prevented from blocking a runner’s path to the plate unless they have possession of the ball.

Porter said he planned to speak to the umpiring crew during the exchange of lineup cards before yesterday’s game to ask for their interpretation of the rule, and the challenge process on those plays.

Royals expect Infante back

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is hopeful that second baseman Omar Infante will be ready to return for a weekend series at Minnesota after he was hit by a pitch in the face.

Yost said before the Royals’ series finale against Tampa Bay that Infante was seeing another doctor but that so far he had checked out OK. Infante sprained his jaw and needed six stitches after being hit by a pitch from the Rays’ Heath Bell on Monday night.

Marlins place RHP Turner on DL

Florida Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner was placed on the 15-day disabled list and righty reliever Arquimedes Caminero has been recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Turner strained his pitching shoulder during BP before a 5-0 loss to Washington on Tuesday and was sent home to Miami for an MRI.

Clearing the bases

The Yankees optioned catcher Austin Romine to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled reliever Shane Greene. … The Colorado Rockies optioned right-handed reliever Wilton Lopez to Triple-A Colorado Springs and recalled infielder Josh Rutledge. … Cleveland optioned reliever Vinnie Pestano to Triple-A Columbus.

Tags: baseball