October 04, 2010
It's hard to believe, but MLB is actually trying to prevent a problem before it happens.
Marc Topkin's The Heater blog has all of the legalese, but the gist is that the two highest rings (A- and B-rings) have been taken out of play. So instead of infielders chasing the crazy caroms and bounces of towering fly balls, the play and pitch will be ruled dead. Like kids on a playground the umpires will have to yell "do over!"
That's still a less-than-ideal situation, but it's worlds better than a big playoff game being decided with a game of pinball in a dome. Though Topkin reports that only 27 fair balls have hit the top two rings in 13 seasons, we saw this season what effect they could have. The Twins beat the Rays in August after bouncing a ball off a catwalk and another incident almost played a big role in a Rays-Yankees game earlier in the season.
Who knew the MLB could be so proactive?