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Morosi: “Neighborhood play” will not be reviewable

Jan 15, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the latest development in replay talks is that the “neighborhood play” — where the second baseman catches the ball off the bag and throws to first base in an attempt to both avoid an incoming runner and complete a double-play, and is given credit for the force out — will not be reviewable. Morosi adds that a manager may challenge that the second baseman did not make a catch but cannot challenge that the second baseman was on the bag when he received the ball.

Further, Morosi says that a big reason why the play will not be reviewable is that forcing a second baseman to catch the ball while on the bag increases his risk of being injured by an incoming runner. The extra split-second or full second that he must hang around the bag increases his odds of having the runner slide into him, or being up-ended as he attempts to leap over the runner. Additionally, the runner is also at risk. This is how Justin Morneau suffered his concussion in July 2010.

  1. jm91rs - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    This is really not reviewable? They’re not going to force the defense to make an out in order to record an out? It’s one of the most basic things in baseball, tag the base before the runner on a force play. Its crazy that they can’t say you have to touch the base and if the runner bowls you over it’s interference and the runner at first is out as well. This will eliminate all the injuries. I guess I don’t understand the purpose of replay, it’s obviously not to get the calls right according to baseball rules.

    • dondada10 - Jan 15, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Good job, MLB.

      I don’t think any team will take umbrage with this seeing how they all employ middle infielders.

      • spudchukar - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Agree. Allowing replay on this would spike injuries significantly. How they handle the wide and high throws is still problematic, but could call by MLB.

    • ireportyoudecide - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      It’s a great idea, and it will never happen. This is the sport that has the ability to get 100% of balls and strike calls correct and chooses to “add” the human element.

  2. mtr75 - Jan 15, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    I’m not as much worried about the neighborhood play as I am about the county play. Sometimes the second baseman isn’t in the same county as the bag when he catches the ball, and yet the runner is called out anyway. So if stuff like this isn’t reviewable, what’s the point of having reviews at all? Because if it’s the bottom of the 9th with one out and a man on first and there’s a grounder and a neighborhood play at second, it could be the difference in the game. No review? Then why have reviews?

    • louhudson23 - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:34 AM

      There is no point in having reviews on anything but the most blatant missed calls. If it takes more than 10 seconds to see the error,then it was too close to call and move on….This is going to be clusterf—k of epic proportions…..using challenges to keep the game moving is not the answer…but an answer is definitely needed….the repeated replays we all are used to do not hold up game play….but now they will….keep it quick,simple and limited to the Jorge Orta plays….

      • jm91rs - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:42 AM

        You do realize nothing would happen to your knees if they eliminated the takeout slide?

      • mmeyer3387 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        I agree, that they need to clearly spell out this rule. However, I do think that having the “Neighborhood play” is good for baseball. Because it keeps players from being hurt and banged up. Additionally, the rule has been used for a while and it has worked worked for the most part. That being said, it’s good that it will not be reviewable, but they do need to clearly spell out the rule with a clear understanding.

      • mtr75 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        The rule is clear. For the runner to be out, the fielder has to have the ball and touch the base. Not anymore!

    • historiophiliac - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Well, they could establish a zone for the play, but then managers would want to argue it, and it’s not in the rulebook anyway. Sigh. I guess we just leave it in Joe West’s hands.

    • mtr75 - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      This just hit me: baseball is essentially using the instant replay rules to codify empire errors, not eliminate them. Isn’t it grand?

  3. slaugin - Jan 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Stephen Drews stock just went back up a bit

  4. dinofrank60 - Jan 15, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Are they going to do it at first and third, too?

  5. brentsalish - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    As a former didn’t-make-the-bigs second baseman, I think this is a terrific decision. I like my knees just fine the way they are, working mostly, with the original-equipment ligaments still attached properly. @jm91rs, every endeavor has written rules and actual rules, in law knows as de jure and de facto. The de facto world is the one we live in, at least in the real world and in most sports. (Golf may be an exception, and even golf is rethinking the idea of allowing random viewers to call in and complain about rules violations.)

  6. ireportyoudecide - Jan 16, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    If you are going to eliminate collision at home then they should also make taking out 2B/SS illegal as well.

    • moogro - Jan 16, 2014 at 2:24 AM

      Yup. They are choosing to maintain high numbers of a pretty looking defensive play over rules and logic, kind of like basketball does. Too bad, because they still could have kept things pretty and consistently followed the rules by eliminating the take-out interference by the runner.

  7. stex52 - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Don’t agree with the “neighborhood play.” The danger is not to the middle infielder just to get the out; it is typically dangerous because he is positioning to get the double play. I think umpires give them the neighborhood because it speeds up the game. Enforce the collision rules. And the middle infielders need to just realize that one out is the better part of valor.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      I agree. I hate the play. It is not a guarantee that they could beat the runner and turn the double play. If you have to touch all the bases after a home run as a formality, I hardly think making someone actually complete a defensive play is too much to ask.

  8. rpb1234 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    It seems ridiculous that all of the “Old School” baseball types were outraged by removing homeplate collisions, but are ok with this phantom out…

  9. paperlions - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    If this is such a good idea, why not extend the neighborhood play to other aspects of baseball that commonly lead to injuries?

    Guys get hurt running into walls to catch fly balls and foul balls, if a guy gets near the ball and just stops and lets it bounce or hit off the wall, should we call those outs to keep players safer?

    Of course not. If you pay attention to times when players use the neighborhood play, it is rarely to avoid injury and much more often because the throw was off line or the grounder was slow and they are cheating to try to get the double play.

    If the reason to not review it is injury protection, shouldn’t any such play in which an injury is not imminently possible be reviewable?

  10. Walk - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    It is the fielders choice to go for the second out. He can easily catch the ball and step off the bag towards short or the pitchers mound much like a first baseman steps off on a close play.

  11. hunterbishop2013 - Jan 16, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    When did the neighborhood play start occurring? It would be interesting to see how it may have affected the number of double plays, offenses and injuries at 2B.

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