ATLANTA -- Late last week, Major League Baseball informed each of its 30 clubs that there could soon be some adjustments made to rules involving home-plate collisions and transfer plays.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Braves have watched a number of players affected by the transfer rule, which has gained a different interpretation since the expanded instant replay system was put in place at the start of this season.
During the eighth inning of Monday night's 10-inning win over the Marlins, Dan Uggla became the latest to run into trouble with this new interpretation. Uggla dropped the baseball as he transferred it out of his glove in an attempt to complete what would have been an inning-ending double play. Second-base umpire Marvin Hudson ruled Uggla possessed the ball long enough to record an out. But Hudson's ruling was overturned after Marlins manager Mike Redmond's challenge resulted in a replay review.
"I don't like the rule," Uggla said. "That's been an out since the beginning of time. I don't agree with it. You can go around the league and probably 100 people out of 100 or however many people are in the big leagues -- players, coaches, staff -- I'm sure will agree with me. Whoever has had a problem with it so far, I'll agree with them."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sympathizes with the players who have been affected by this new interpretation of the transfer rule. But until the rule is adjusted, he will continue to preach the need to be extra cautious. Gonzalez said he has gone as far as to tell his outfielders to be careful about how quickly they flip a ball into the stands after catching a ball to end an inning.
"I think the transfer rule should be distinguished between a [caught] ball and a thrown ball," Gonzalez said. "Let that stand where it has been. A batted ball, let's let that one stand where you have to catch it and you've got to come out with it. Let the actual thrown ball [on] a double play, just let that be where it has been for 100 million years."