Dieter Kurtenbach: MLB needs to change the rules after umpires robbed the SF Giants

Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO — There are plenty of important things for Major League Baseball to figure out this offseason.

There is a collective bargaining agreement to be hammered out, after all.

But amid all the big negotiations set to come over the coming weeks and months, Major League Baseball should add another:

Define the swing.

Let the way Game 5 of the Dodgers-Giants National League Division Series be the impetus. The two best teams in baseball were battling down to the wire of an exceptional elimination game, only for the contest to end on an incorrect check-swing call against Wilmer Flores.

I say it was incorrect, because Flores held up from breaking his wrists and the bat never went past parallel.


But none of these standards I’m referencing are part of the rulebook — they’re just colloquial understandings of what a checked swing is.

In fact, the definition of a swing is not in the Major League Baseball rulebook. We all know what it is, but we had to figure that out on our own.

Seriously, check it out. Not a word to define “swing”.

Forgive me for thinking that shouldn’t be up to interpretation.


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