Manager Terry Collins is a former shortstop who firmly understands MLB's new rule about how middle infielders can work around second base. Initially, Collins was against the rule change, which outlaws sliding with no intent of actually touching second base. However, after meeting with Jim Leyland, Joe Torre and other league officials earlier in the week, Collins has come around.
"It's going to protect the infield a lot more," he recently said to reporters. "I am more concerned about second base than I am shortstop."
In the last two days, I've listened to Collins with his coaches and infielders explaining (and showing) how the new rule works. Basically, the infielder must touch the bag on force out.
"A lot of times infielders for years were taught about dragging their feet across the base," Collins said. "That is not going to fly anymore."
Similarly, the runner, who can slide, must intend on touching the bag and, most importantly, he must stay on the bag; otherwise he'll be called out.
"As they told us this morning, 'There will be a number of challenges on those things,'" Collins said.
David Wright had questions for Collins from the perspective of the runner, as well as the infielder throwing to second base in an effort to set up a double play...
Obviously, Neil Walker, Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores were most concerned about how to handle the pivot after receiving the ball, throwing it to first and getting out of the way of a runner now on top of the base.