MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was pleased Friday when Major League Baseball's Playing Rules Committee clarified the rule regarding transfers -- the act of a fielder removing the baseball from his glove after a catch.
With the implementation of expanded instant replay this season, umpires had been enforcing a much stricter interpretation of the rule. But that changed as of Friday, with the committee's determination that an out has occurred when a player has complete control over the ball in his glove, and if he drops the ball after opening his glove, it will still be ruled an out. There is no requirement to successfully remove the ball from the glove for it to be an out.
As in previous seasons, if a player drops the ball while attempting to remove it from his glove in order to make a throw, the umpire will determine whether he had secured it in his glove before attempting the transfer.
"I like it. They did a really nice job of cleaning that up," Roenicke said. "We saw the highlights, and it looked like anything that was questionable was not going to be a catch. I'm really happy about it, because what was happening was ... if a first baseman catches a ball with nobody on base, a throw from the infielder, and he obviously catches it and secures it, then he's throwing the ball around the infield and he drops it. Well, [before Friday's clarification], it was maybe going to be a no-catch. I don't think that's what we want to do with this thing.
"Catcher, Strike 3. He catches the ball, comes up to throw it around the infield, and he drops it. Is it now a dropped ball? I don't think that's what they intended. It's the play, the transfer at second base, where guys are cheating a little bit when they're not getting it clean. So this today, at least what I read, I like what they did. It's the right way to do it."
Likewise, Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez was happy with the change.
"I think it was affecting baseball," Gomez said.
"I think it's a good thing," outfielder Logan Schafer said. "Luckily, it never applied to us."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.