A little less than a month ago, I wrote about how MLB needed to add a “Kang Rule”, similar to The Posey Rule”, after Chris Coghlan broke Jung-ho Kang’s leg with a takeout slide.
After this weekend, it looks like we’re going to get that rule. Only, instead of “The Kang Rule”, it’s probably going to be called “The Utley Rule” or maybe even “The Tejada Rule”.
There was a little bit of discussion after Kang went down with a broken leg, but outside of Pittsburgh, the discussion was thin. It was exploratory, looking at whether a change needed to be made. There was no immediate action from Major League Baseball saying they’d look into rule changes following the injury. Chris Coghlan didn’t get suspended. And yet all of these things happened after Chase Utley broke Ruben Tejada’s leg over the weekend.
So where was the outrage over Kang?
It’s expected that this situation would get more attention than Kang’s situation. It’s the playoffs. There are fewer games, and this game was the biggest story of the day. And of course you’ve got a New York team playing a team from Los Angeles, which definitely magnifies all of this.
Granted, the injury to Kang might have led to a build up that eventually spilled over to this outrage. Maybe this situation gets treated like Kang’s situation if we didn’t already go through this a few weeks ago. But that would ignore that the Pirates went through it earlier in the season with another player, Jordy Mercer, and then didn’t see this type of reaction for Kang.
It’s not like a two game suspension would have really helped Kang. And a rule change would go into effect next year, which also wouldn’t help the situation. But it would have been nice to see the same type of reaction when a similar situation took out one of the best players on the Pirates when they needed him the most.
The good news about all of this is that it looks like the rule will be changing. Joe Torre said that MLB would be testing some changes in the Arizona Fall League, and I can’t see the 2016 season starting without a change that will protect middle infielders from this situation. My thoughts on this were made clear when the situation with Kang happened, and they don’t change after the Utley/Tejada situation. So it’s great that MLB could finally be solving this problem.
**Pirates Off-Season Preview: The Difficulty of Finding Upgrades For 2016. From yesterday, a look at the tough decisions the Pirates will have to make this off-season, along with some of the struggles they will find when trying to make upgrades in 2016.
**AFL Preview: Pirates Sending Some Top Talent to the Fall League This Season. The AFL starts tomorrow, and John Dreker previews the class that the Pirates are sending, which is a very talented group this year.
**Padres to Interview Rick Sofield For Managerial Position. This sparked a lot of negative reactions towards Sofield’s work at third base. If he happens to get the Padres’ job, then the Pirates will replace him with another third base coach who fans will hate as well, because no fan base has ever liked a third base coach.
**Josh Bell Among Top Prospects in the International League. It looks like Tyler Glasnow didn’t qualify for the list, due to a lack of innings.
**Winter Leagues: Jose Osuna Surpasses Last Year’s Hit Total. Osuna is an interesting case going forward. He’s Rule 5 eligible, but won’t be a risk of being drafted, since first basemen rarely get protected. He’s behind Bell at first base, and is only a bench option in the outfield. He looks like a trade chip for the Pirates, or a guy that could be depth out of Triple-A after Bell eventually moves on to the majors.