NEW YORK — For more than a century, baseball seemed to know when a catch was a catch. Then expanded instant replay came along this season, and no one seemed to be sure.
The sport’s Playing Rules Committee clarified the meaning of when a fielder catches the ball before trying to transfer it from his glove to his hand for a throw, trying to defuse a controversy that left managers and players puzzled in the season’s opening weeks.
With umpires watching slow-motion replays in a New York control room, several plays that routinely have been called outs in the past have been ruled drops. Starting Friday, possession was defined as having complete control of the ball. The committee said fielders may drop the ball after intentionally opening their gloves to make transfers.
“I understood that if you went by the rule in the book, you had to call it a certain way. But it had been called another way for 100 years,” Mets center fielder Chris Young said.
Calling this a “common-sense interpretation,” MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said the committee decided “as long as the fielder intentionally opens his glove with the intent to take the ball out, that piece of the rule is satisfied.”
Must be in the front row
MILWAUKEE — There’s no mistaking what row Bob Uecker is in now — all the way in the back of the upper deck.
On Friday, the Brewers unveiled a statue of the longtime radio broadcaster in the last row of the upper deck behind home plate at Miller Park. It’s a nod to the popular 1980s Lite beer “All Stars” campaign that featured a cast of sports celebrities, including Uecker, who has served as the Brewers radio voice since 1971.
One of the classic ads features Uecker anticipating a move to front-row seats only to wind up in the upper reaches of the ballpark.
Fittingly, the statue’s location features a view partially blocked by a steel beam.
- Orioles first baseman
- Chris Davis
- left Friday night’s game against Kansas City with a strained left oblique. The severity of the injury was not immediately determined.
Davis led the majors with 53 homers and 138 RBIs last season. He has two home runs this year.
- Baseball commissioner
- Bud Selig
- says the sport will wait until after the season to study whether the rule preventing pitchers from using pine tar should be changed.
- Ernesto Frieri
- has lost his job as Angels closer. Angels manager
- Mike Scioscia
- said setup man
- Joe Smith
- will step into the stopper role until Frieri works out his problems.
- A’s left fielder
- Yoenis Cespedes
- sat out Friday after straining his left hamstring a night earlier. Manager
- Bob Melvin
- said he expects Cespedes to be out a couple of days.