Major League Baseball is instituting a few new rules for the 2016 season, and it's a good thing.
The first of three notable changes is that baserunners will no longer be able to apply bone-crushing hits on a fielder covering second base to break up a double play, known as "rolling blocks
," unless they are making a "bona fide slide," which basically means they're aiming their slide at the base, not the person covering it. Baserunners who are found guilty of rolling blocks, and even the batter at the time of the block, are now subject to being called out. The second update will finally make the "neighborhood play" reviewable. The neighborhood play is that bullshit during a double play when the infielder doesn't actually touch second base
before throwing to first, but the runner is called out anyway. Lastly, a 30-second time limit will be placed on mound visits, although there will be no penalty for exceeding the limit because MLB insists on implementing partially-constructed rules that need to be consistently re-evaluated.
All of these rules are beneficial on one level or another. Baserunners can still take out infielders, which is awesome because physical violence is entertaining, they just can't be dicks about it like Chase Utley
. Making the "neighborhood play" play reviewable will force infielders to not be pussies by avoided the aforementioned physical contact. And the 30-second rule, should it somehow prove effective without a penalty, is great because baseball is already slow enough, and we don't need to spend extra time watching the infield gathered on the mound for a 10-minute tea party.