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New rule brings about odd 7-6-3 double play

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Players are still adjusting to Major League Baseball's new transfer rule that mandates a fielder keep control of the baseball when he brings it from his glove to his throwing hand. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said before Sunday's game that he was adjusting, acknowledging that he was confused at times, too.

"I think the players are struggling with it a little bit more than the managers," McClendon said. "What we try to tell our players is to watch the umpires. If he makes the call, act accordingly."

Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Players are still adjusting to Major League Baseball's new transfer rule that mandates a fielder keep control of the baseball when he brings it from his glove to his throwing hand. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said before Sunday's game that he was adjusting, acknowledging that he was confused at times, too.

"I think the players are struggling with it a little bit more than the managers," McClendon said. "What we try to tell our players is to watch the umpires. If he makes the call, act accordingly."

Full Game Coverage

On two separate fly balls in Saturday night's loss, Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley secured the baseball in his mitt but subsequently failed to make a smooth transfer to his throwing hand. Each time the ball fell to the ground, and the batter was ruled safe. In an odd play in the sixth inning, A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes lined it to Ackley. The left fielder appeared at first to make the catch but dropped it on the transfer.

Not understanding that the ball was still live, Cespedes peeled off and ran back to the dugout before touching first base -- all while his teammates frantically waved at him to keep running.

Ackley had time to gather the ball and hit shortstop Brad Miller with a relay throw, and Miller threw to Smoak at first base to complete the otherwise typical 7-6-3 putout.

"I think you gotta think about it a little bit," Ackley said when asked Saturday about how he was adjusting to the new rule. "I think you gotta focus on the exchange. I don't want to overthink anything but just go out there and -- especially situations where there's nobody on base -- make sure that you catch it and make the exchange."

Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

 

Seattle Mariners, Dustin Ackley