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Mets to get catcher-collision crash course

2/19/2014

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets coaches and other staff will attend a meeting on Thursday in nearby Jupiter along with officials from the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins to get more clarity about what will be permitted now that catchers no longer can fully block the plate.

Instant replay also will be further explained during the three-team gathering with MLB officials.

Bench coach Bob Geren, who oversees Mets catching, already has some preliminary insights.

“It’s difficult to be precise, because we don’t know exactly what the rule is going to be,” Geren said.

Geren said the difference under the new rule may be only a few inches of positioning to give the runner some access to the plate.

“Do we have to give them the entire plate, part of the plate?” Geren said. “What can a catcher do after he catches the ball? These are things that aren’t determined yet.”

Still, Geren added: “I don’t think it would be a major adjustment for the catchers either way. We’re probably talking about maybe six inches more one way or the other. And then the biggest thing is after you catch the ball, what will they be allowed or not allowed to do?

“There’s talk now, can they still leave the shin guard there? Or can they drop a knee and tag? Or do they have to tag with their glove only? Those are the things that have to be determined.”

Geren caught for parts of five seasons with the Yankees and San Diego Padres. Does he like the rule change?

“I really have mixed feelings about it, because I have some traditionalist in me. But I also understand the safety issue, where you’d hate to see anybody lose their career or hinder their career on one play,” he said. “I can definitely see both sides. I know that the rules they have in college, it sounds like it will be similar to what we might adopt. It works well there.”