Ian Kinsler discusses MLB’s slide rule changes
Ian Kinsler said Major League Baseball’s changes on rules for sliding into second base on potential double plays will have a bigger impact on shortstops than second basemen, since making the neighborhood play reviewable affects shortstops who have traditionally run across the bag on double plays rather than staying on it. That said, Kinsler doesn’t see a massive change so much as a clarification to make it less subjective for umpires.
“They organized the rule a little bit, made it a little more descriptive for the umpires and for the players to kind of understand what is obstruction and what isn’t. So I think that’s a good thing,” Kinsler said. “Before it was basically umpires’ discretion, and every umpire sees things differently, so the rule wasn’t really solid depending on the angle that he has, the speed of the play, the time of the game, the angle of the sun, whatever.”
By new rule, a baserunner must now be able to reach the base with his hand or foot while sliding and must attempt to remain on the base after completing the slide, or else be called for interference. The runner also cannot alter his path to create contact with an infielder. The rolling slide into a middle infielder is also out.
“For me, the only problems were guys sliding away from arm’s reach, that lead foot being up in the air, and late slides,” Kinsler said. “Those are three things that I think could’ve been discussed and changed or defined a little better. And that was really it for me. As long as you start your slide before the base and you’re within reach of the base, for me that’s fair.”
Kinsler doesn’t believe baseball should eliminate the hard slide, just make the egregious ones more clear.
“I just think the rule needed to be cleaned up a little bit, and I think that’s what they did,” he said. “I’m definitely opposed to taking the aggression away from the game. If we continue to take exciting plays away from the game, it’s going to be a staring contest out there. Injuries are part of sports in general. I also did think the rule needed to be defined.”