Baseball set to announce collision rule

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Baseball's new guidelines regarding home plate collisions will be released today.

MLB executive vice president Joe Torre made the revelation Sunday after wrapping up a series of meetings to discuss expanded replay with the 15 teams that conduct spring training in Florida.

The former New York Yankees manager did not provide specifics about the plate-collision rule except to say baseball wants to curb intentional contact.

"There's a memo that's going to come out. It's pretty cut and dried at this point in time," Torre said. "If nothing else on that play, we want to eliminate those very vicious hits where you target the catcher as opposed to home plate."

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said there doesn't appear a radical change to existing guidelines, noting catchers still will be able to block the plate if the ball arrives in time.

"The general spirit of it is you don't want a collision intentionally initiated by the base runner. That's what it sounds like to me," Maddon said.

Home plate collisions also will be subject to review, however they won't cost a manager a challenge under the new system.

"It's going to cost you a challenge if you're challenging safe or out. But if it's the collision part of it, if it's going to be a violation, then that is going to be looked at the same as the home run (replay). ... The only thing different is the (umpires) are not going to leave the field, you're going to get everything from New York," Torre said.

Torre is optimistic the new replay system that debuts this season will function as intended, helping umpires get potential game-changing calls correct while not disrupting the rhythm of play with lengthy delays.

Torre is headed today to Arizona, where he'll spend two days explaining expanded replay to managers and other staff members of the 15 clubs preparing for the season there.

"For the most part, the reception from all the clubs has been very positive, which makes us happy," Torre said after a three-hour meeting with representatives from the Rays, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.

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