NEW YORK --Major League Baseball and the players' union have banned rolling block slides to break up potential double plays, hoping to prevent a repeat of the takeout by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Chase Utley that broke a leg of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.
Under the rules change announced Thursday, a runner must make a "bona fide slide," defined as making contact with the ground ahead of the base, being in position to reach the base with a hand or foot and to remain on it, and sliding within reach of the base without changing his path to initiate contact with a fielder.
An umpire can call both the runner and batter out for a violation.
In addition, takeout slides and neighborhood plays will be subject to video review. In the past, the neighborhood play wasn't subject to review.
Baseball and the union also agreed to limit mound visits by managers and pitching coaches to 30 seconds and to cut the countdown clock for between-innings breaks by 20 seconds, to 2:05 for most games and 2:25 for nationally televised matchups.