LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings. Player safety and concern over concussions were major factors in the decision.
“Ultimately what we want to do is change the culture of acceptance that these plays are ordinary and routine and an accepted part of the game,” Alderson said. “The costs associated in terms of health and injury just no longer warrant the status quo.
“The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to final determination. We’re going to do fairly extensive review of the types of plays that occur at home plate to determine which we’re going to find acceptable and which are going to be prohibited.”
In a sport long bound by tradition, a ban will be a major step. MLB also is instituting a vast increase in the use of instant replay by umpires next season in an effort to eliminate blown calls.
“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play?” Pete Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. Rose, banned for life in 1989 following a gambling investigation, famously bowled over catcher Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game. Rose insists Fosse was blocking the plate without the ball, which is against the rules.
• Former Tucson Padres right-hander Anthony Bass was acquired by the Houston Astros from San Diego for a player to be named or cash. The 26-year-old was 4-6 with a 5.45 ERA in 15 starts at Tucson.
• The Seattle Mariners added a pair of slugging first baseman-outfielders to go along with Robinson Cano, reaching agreement on a one-year deal with Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison in a trade with Miami.
• Jerry Hairston Jr. is retiring after spending the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 37-year-old utilityman has a .257 career average with 70 homers, 420 RBIs and 147 steals with nine teams.
• Outfielder Rajai Davis and Detroit agreed to terms on a two-year contract.
Monaco to be interim football coach
Pima College named Jim Monaco as its interim football coach on Monday.
Monaco, who coached the defensive line and was the recruiting coordinator the last two seasons for the Aztecs, steps in for coach Pat Nugent, who resigned in November after coaching Pima for five seasons.
Monaco, who has 31 years of coaching experience, was the coach at Desert View High School from 2006 to 2011 and Tucson High for 2005 and 2006.
• The Pima College women’s basketball team lost 109-72 to Central Arizona in Coolidge on Wednesday. Pima is 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the ACCAC.
Women’s regionals at neutral sites
NEW YORK — The NCAA women’s basketball regionals are going back to neutral sites. The championship committee announced Wednesday that Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Greensboro and Albany will host the 2015 regionals. The committee received criticism from some coaches about the move to have regionals on campus for this season’s tournament.
Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Nebraska will host games in March with the chance to go to the Final Four on the line.
• Former North Carolina State basketball coach Sidney Lowe pleaded guilty to failing to file his North Carolina tax returns for three years. He received a suspended 45-day jail sentence.
Kreis resigns as Real Salt Lake coach
NEW YORK — Jason Kreis stepped down as coach of Real Salt Lake, just days after losing Major League Soccer’s championship game, to become coach of the expansion New York City FC team that starts play in 2015. NYCFC, co-owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees, said Kreis will start with the team in January.
• The Seattle Sounders traded midfielder Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA for forward Tristan Bowen. Seattle also acquired Chivas’ No. 2 allocation ranking when the deal was finalized Wednesday. Chivas will receive Seattle’s No. 13 allocation ranking.
• New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is retiring after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
• Skier Lindsey Vonn will skip this weekend’s World Cup stop at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and is planning to return to the circuit in a downhill Dec. 21.