MLB roundup: New rule addresses home collisions

The SportsXchange

Major League Baseball and the players union officially negotiated the addition of a new rule covering collisions at home plate on an experimental basis for the 2014 season.

Rule 7.13 prohibits the most egregious collisions at home plate. It states that:

"A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher ... in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).

"Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe."

--- The Texas Rangers and manager Ron Washington agreed to a contract extension through the 2015 season, the team announced.

Washington was entering the final year of his contract and signing the extension ends questions about possible lame-duck status.

Washington, 61, has been the Rangers' manager since 2007 season. He has more wins than any Rangers manager in history (611) and took the Rangers to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, losing both times.

---The New York Yankees announced that they signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year contract extension.

The new deal begins in 2015 and includes a club option for 2019.

The Yankees did not release financial terms but it has been reported that the deal is worth $52 million. It buys out the first four years of his free agent eligibility. The club option is reportedly worth $12.5 million.

---The Yankees play an exhibition game against Florida State on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., which means the Yankees could face Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.

Winston is the closer on the Seminoles' baseball team, and he has allowed just one hit and no runs in four innings of work this season.

---Tony Clark, Major League Baseball Players Association executive director, said all is well between suspended Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the union.

Clark said he expects Rodriguez to be back on the playing field next year when he comes off his season-long ban and does not expect any retribution against him from players who were reportedly angered that he filed a lawsuit against the union.

---The Baltimore Orioles announced they have signed free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz to a one-year contract.

It had been reported by multiple media outlets on Saturday that Cruz agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract. Cruz can reportedly earn up to an additional $750,000 in incentives.

---New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis told the New York Post on Sunday that he hid an oblique injury from the team last year and then downplayed the story on Monday.

Davis said he did not tell the Mets about the injury because he did not want them to think it was an excuse for being sent to Class AAA Las Vegas. Davis was hitting .161 when the Mets demoted him in early June.

Davis changed his tune Monday, angrily downplaying the story to reporters, including the Post writer. Davis said he admitted he had the injury for a couple of months before the oblique popped, but many other players have injuries, too, and they do not tell the team because they do not want to get taken out of the lineup.

---Washington Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus was scheduled to have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of a chest injury he sustained.

Team doctors told Mattheus they believe he has irritation in a joint on the inside of his right pectoral muscle. Mattheus initially felt pain in his chest after recently throwing a bullpen session. The team then shut him down from throwing.

---The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Brent Morel off waivers after the third baseman was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays.
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