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As rules change, Red Sox make adjustments

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 20, 2014 06:13 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday he has a good handle on the two biggest changes coming to baseball this season, the expanded use of instant replay and the new collision rule at home plate.

Both rules have been adjusted a bit, particularly the collision rule.

"When you boil it all down, if the runner deviated his base path, that's where the player can be ejected. But if the catcher is standing at home plate blocking the plate, that catcher can be run over," Farrell said.

The rule essentially eliminates the runner going out of the base line to hit the catcher, the kind of play that injured Buster Posey in 2011. Posey was in front of the plate on that play and the runner, Scott Cousins, changed course to crash into him.

Posey suffered a fractured left fibula and torn ankle ligaments.

"The Posey Rule," Farrell said. "The rule's a good one for eliminating a potential severe injury."

Cousins was signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox over the winter but not invited to spring training. He has played in six major league games this spring and spoke to Farrell about the play with Posey.

"As these two changes have been rolled out, there's been follow-up and clarification," Farrell said. "You can run over a catcher. As more questions have been asked, there's been more clarification."

Initially the Red Sox runners were told to always slide into the plate. Now that has been adjusted.

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