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Maddon says new sliding rule 'common sense'

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs players and coaches got clarification of the "neighborhood play," and discussed the new rule governing slides on possible double plays with Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, and supervisor of umpires Steve Palermo.

"There is no neighborhood any more," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The 'hood's gone."

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs players and coaches got clarification of the "neighborhood play," and discussed the new rule governing slides on possible double plays with Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, and supervisor of umpires Steve Palermo.

"There is no neighborhood any more," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The 'hood's gone."

Cubs' Spring Training info

Under the new Rule 6.01(j), slides on potential double plays will require runners to make a bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base. A runner will be specifically prohibited from changing his pathway to the base or utilizing a "roll block" for the purpose of initiating contact with the fielder. The play is reviewable.

"The defender has to be in touch with the base in order for it to be an out," Maddon said. "A lot of [the rule] is common sense.

"I want our guys to continue to play because I don't see us as wanting to roll block or take somebody's leg out by kicking them above the knee, as opposed to below the knee when you're trying to knock them to the ground," he said.

The two key elements that Maddon emphasized to the players are that they should slide in front of the bag as opposed to on it or beyond it, and the defenders, if faced with any throw that might be a little off, need to make sure they get at least one out.

Travis Wood will start the Cubs' first Cactus League game Thursday against the Brewers at Maryvale, and be followed by Kyle Hendricks. Wood is projected for the Cubs' bullpen, but the team wants him to be stretched out this spring. Hendricks is penciled in as the fifth starter.

Maddon has yet to officially name the Opening Day starter.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

 

Chicago Cubs