MLB feels players fraternizing too much

Updated: May 8, 2011, 11:33 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Before every game, position players on both teams will gather on the foul lines and do their last sprints before the first pitch, and often this leads to greetings in the outfield behind second base -- hearty handshakes and hugs.

If Joe Torre, baseball's new czar of on-field discipline, has his way, then this kind of thing will be curtailed. Torre has asked club staff members to nudge their players toward curtailing that kind of fraternization after the gates have been opened to fans.

Friends from rival teams will often have dinner after games, away from the park. But what has rankled some folks in the game has been the gradual increase in on-field conversations when fans are in the park, because they would prefer that the players reinforce the lines of competition. Some players -- like the Yankees' Mariano Rivera -- already prefer to limit their conversation with opposing players, but others don't draw that distinction.

Torre's preference might be to curtail the fraternization, but the reality is that MLB can't really make this happen without the cooperation of the players -- and as MLB learned in its effort to get players to speed up their at-bats, some players will simply ignore the request.

Justin Verlander didn't jump and scream, nor did he run around like crazy and leap into the arms of his catcher. He gave it a pump of the fist, in front of a big grin. Because he's done it before, and there's no reason to think that a pitcher clocked at 100 mph in the eighth inning of a no-hitter on Saturday won't do it again.

His experience helped him, writes Shawn Windsor. Drew Sharp wonders: Can he become a megastar now? Armando Galarraga offered congratulations from afar.