Nippon Professional Baseball confirmed Saturday it will go ahead with revisions to its home plate collision guidelines but only after explaining the changes to the players.
NPB had been leaning toward introducing the new standards — in which the guidelines will only be enforced in the event of a collision — after the All-Star break. That target might still be met when play resumes on Monday, provided the players agree.
Prior to the All-Star break, managers and coaches of the 12 teams were informed of the changes, but the players were not. And on Friday, the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association complained about NPB proceeding with the revisions before its members fully understand them. The revisions will be explained to the players when each team practices on Sunday.
“We are going to start once the players understand,” players association secretary general Tadahito Mori said.
The guidelines, which prevent runners from initiating contact with fielders at home plate and prohibit fielders from obstructing the base path, were put into force this season. But the current guidelines have resulted in several runners being called out at home — only to have those calls overturned on minor technicalities.