MLB kills the ‘transfer rule’

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that effective immediately, they were doing away with the new transfer rule. MLB had earlier clarified that the existing rule on catching the ball would be interpreted going into the 2014 season that if the fielder fails to transfer the ball properly from his glove to his throwing hand, the catch is not a catch, and the runner is safe. The interpretation was referred to as the transfer rule.

This is what it has always said in Section 2 of the Major League Baseball rulebook:

A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

I don’t understand how you can read the rule and determine that it’s not a catch if you drop the ball while taking it out of your glove. The two events, the catch and the subsequent throw, are independent of one another. The Baltimore Orioles lost a game against the Boston Red Sox because of this stupid interpretation. I’m sure other teams were robbed because of it too.

The transfer rule was stupid. I’m glad to see that they killed it.

Author: Rick Rottman

This is my personal blog. It's where I write about things when I feel like it.

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