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Uggla applauds ball-transfer rule clarification

ATLANTA -- Braves second baseman Dan Uggla is not fond of rule changes, so count him among those who were happy when Major League Baseball announced Friday its decision to clarify the transfer rule that has come under scrutiny since replay was expanded this season.

Once a player makes a legal catch to apply a tag or execute a force out, the out stands even if the player drops the ball while opening his glove to transfer the ball to his throwing hand.

"I was happy to see that it was noticed," Uggla said. "I guess everybody agreed, even Major League Baseball agreed that it should've been left the way it was, and they changed it back. So, it was a good thing to see."

Uggla was among several Braves happy to see the transfer issue addressed promptly rather than waiting to deal with it. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez felt the transfer play "looks worse than what it is" when it was reviewed under replay rules.

"I think that they realized that it was really kind of not working the way they wanted it to work," Gonzalez said. "Why not change it? We have that capability or the power to do it, and I do applaud Major League Baseball for doing that."

Uggla added: "It was great to see them step in right now. We would've continued to see the same things throughout the rest of the year if they didn't and see everybody getting upset every time it happened."

Now that MLB has clarified the transfer rule, Uggla is hoping to see a revision to the new home-plate collision rule, saying, "it should have been left alone."

Uggla trusts umpires to make the determination whether a runner is intending to hurt the catcher via collision. His main concern is when the momentum or direction of a throw to the plate takes the catcher into the basepath.

"If a throw takes the catcher across into the baseline in front of the plate and the runner is still 15-20 feet away, 5-10 feet away and automatically calls [the runner] safe because the throw took the catcher in front of home plate, I think that's just a bad rule," Uggla said.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for
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