New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball has decided to adjust the controversial transfer rule, effective immediately.
MLB released the following statement on Friday:
"The Committee has determined that a legal catch has occurred pursuant to OBR 2.00 (Definition of Terms, "Catch"), or a valid force out or tag has occurred pursuant to OBR 2.00 (Definition of Terms, "Tag"), if the fielder had complete control over the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after intentionally opening his glove to make the transfer to his throwing hand. There is no requirement that the fielder successfully remove the ball from his glove in order for it be ruled a catch. If the fielder drops the ball while attempting to remove it to make a throw, the Umpires should rule that the ball had been caught, provided that the fielder had secured it in his glove before attempting the transfer. The Umpires will continue to use their judgment as to whether the fielder had complete control over the ball before the transfer."
The tweak, which is the first of the expanded replay era, essentially means that umpires will revert to past definitions of the transfer rule.
Under the rule that was implemented this season, a player had to cleanly transfer the ball from his glove to his throwing hand for it to be considered a catch. In the past, bobbling the transfer was still considered an out.
MLB, the MLB Players Association and the World Umpires Association agreed to the adjustment of the rule.
Beginning with Friday's set of games, umpires will enforce the "transfer rule" according to the adjusted standards.