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Dozier against neighborhood play being reviewable

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While baseball's new rules regarding slides into second base are aimed at improving player safety, count Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as one of those who is against the rule change that will allow the neighborhood play at second base to be reviewed.

Dozier, who started his career as a shortstop before moving to second base in 2013, said he's in favor of the rule that forces players to make a "bona fide slide" into second base, but he believes that reviews to make sure middle infielders touch second base while turning double plays is against the spirit of the original rule.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While baseball's new rules regarding slides into second base are aimed at improving player safety, count Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as one of those who is against the rule change that will allow the neighborhood play at second base to be reviewed.

Dozier, who started his career as a shortstop before moving to second base in 2013, said he's in favor of the rule that forces players to make a "bona fide slide" into second base, but he believes that reviews to make sure middle infielders touch second base while turning double plays is against the spirit of the original rule.

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"I guess I can say I don't really like it, because I love replay and all that, because it's good for the game, but there's that fine line where you don't want to take away from the game itself," Dozier said. "I can see where the ball goes high or right or left and pulls someone off the bag, but there's going to be a lot of little bitty replays where it looks like a regular double play, but if my foot comes off any, especially if they're sliding in and popping up, it's just that fine line."

Dozier said the neighborhood play -- which allows fielders to straddle second base or glide past it while turning double plays -- helps keep middle infielders from being injured from takeout slides. But he said now making sure to touch the base to get the out will be a main priority and changes the fundamentals of the double play.

"A lot of second basemen straddle the bag and don't even touch it," Dozier said. "Now it's your foot has to be on the bag and you have to throw it. It's just the first year, but 10 years down the road, there could be no such thing as being around it. So I don't know how we're going to do it this year. I feel like we'll see a lot of double plays where I don't want to say it's slower, but you have to make sure you get one out."

Dozier added he's never really had much of an issue with takeout slides in the past, despite having to turn double plays with his back to the runner as a second baseman.

"That's the thing -- I love when guys come in hard, even if they barely reach the bag," Dozier said. "I know they implemented the fact you can't slide late and hit the [fielder]. And that's the only really dirty slide, if they slide late and off the bag."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

 

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier