Scioscia seeks change to transfer rule
DETROIT -- At this point, Mike Scioscia fully understands how umpires are enforcing the transfer rule.
That's not the issue.
"It's very clear on what it is -- the rule needs to be changed," the Angels' manager said Saturday morning. "I think the days of a purposeful release making it a catch are long gone. That's when the gloves were like oven mitts. I think when you catch a ball and you have possession with a glove closed on it, that catch ends, now the transfer begins. I think that's the clarity that that rule needs, and hopefully it will be addressed."
The division-rival Mariners were involved in a transfer ruling on Friday night, when third baseman Kyle Seager bobbled the forceout that umpires overturned just before Giancarlo Stanton's game-winning grand slam, but that one seemed a little more distinct.
A smaller violation of the rule occurred at the Mariners' ballpark 11 days earlier, when Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton caught a fly ball from Corey Hart, then dropped it as he was throwing it back into the infield, prompting umpires to overturn an initial out call that Hamilton later described as "terrible."
Now that expanded instant replay has been introduced, Major League Baseball has told umpires that "if a fielder loses possession of the ball during the transfer before the ball was secured by his throwing hand" it is no longer a catch. Scioscia, and several of his players, would like to see more common sense injected into the way that rule is interpreted.
"The transfer rule has to be adjusted, particularly for a routine catch," Scioscia said. "Hopefully it will be."