We still haven't come up with a good phrase to replace "McChatty" now that Mike Maddux is the Washington Nationals' new pitching coach and Steve McCatty is coaching in the Cleveland Indians' minor league system. [ed. note - "We are open to suggestions..."] We do, however, know that when Maddux treks out to the mound to offer advice or settle Gio Gonzalez [ed. note - "Or another pitcher?"] down, he'll be on the clock this season. Major League Baseball announced rule changes this afternoon, one that has to do with mound visits and another that will be called the "Chase Utley Rule" [ed. note - "Nobody is calling it that."]
Here's what the official rule change on slides into second base 6.01(j) says as per a tweet by the MLBPA [ed. note - "We do not approve of the MLB Rulebook's use of the 'Oxford comma'."]:
"Under new Rule 6.01(j), which has been added to the existing rule 6.01 on 'Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions,' slides on potential double plays will require runners to make a bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base. Runners may still initiate contact with the fielder as a consequence of an otherwise permissible slide. A runner will be specifically prohibited from changing his pathway to the base or utilizing a 'roll block' for the purpose of initiating contact with the fielder. Potential violations of the Rule 6.01(j) will be reviewable using instant replay. Also reviewable will be 'neighborhood play' calls, which previously were exempted from replay review."
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark issued the following statement on the rule change on slides into second:
"Our goal in amending the slide rule was to enhance player safety, reduce incidents of injury and to do it in a way that respects and preserves the bona fide hustle plays that are integral to our game. I am optimistic that this will accomplish those goals."
Major League Baseball and the MLBPA also announced additions to the "Pace of Game" rules that were previously adopted.
"The pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher's mound by managers and pitching coaches. In addition, break timers will now mirror the time allowed to broadcasters between innings: 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games, a reduction of 20 seconds each from the 2015 season..."
You can read the full text of the rule changes through the tweet below which the MLBPA sent out on their official Twitter account:
.@MLB_PLAYERS & @mlb adopt slide rule on double plays, pace of game changes... pic.twitter.com/3hKwEmzucX— MLBPA (@MLB_PLAYERS) February 25, 2016
Thoughts? Not on the rules, but on what we should tweet out and put in the comments section whenever Mike Maddux visits the mound?