THE RULE PROBLEM AT SECOND BASE. I posted here two years about the problems that might occur with introducing replay on plays at second base and on the dangers of the collisions that were permitted on plays at second base. Now, at a turning point in an important game in the playoffs between the Dodgers and the Mets, Chase Utley of the Dodgers, rather than sliding into second base, sought out the Met shortstop and broke his leg. This post by Mike Axisa has video of the play and joins many baseball writers in predicting that the slide will result in rule changes to prevent this kind of play from happening again.

However, this article by Brian Kenny on the Sports on Earth site correctly points out that there is already a rule and that rule explicitly forbids what Utley did:

“5.09 (a) (13) (Rule 6.05, 2014)

A batter is out when —

(m) A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:

Rule 5.09 (a) (13) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.”

Rather than penalizing the offensive team for the rule violation as the Comment states is intended, the offending team was rewarded.

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