Major League Baseball and the players’ union on Thursday banned “takeout slides” slides by base runners aimed at disrupting a double play.



This rule change is largely the result of Los Angeles second baseman Chase Utley’s hard slide into second base during last year’s playoffs, which ended with New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada breaking his leg.



The new rule, in effect, means runners need to enact a “bona fide slide” into the base—not around it, past it or into a fielder—and must attempt to maintain contact with the base. If it is determined that the runner intentionally slid into someone, he will be ruled out on interference.



This also means that takeout slides and “neighborhood plays,” a long unwritten rule of baseball that the fielder at second base just needs to be near the bag while turning a double play, are both reviewable.



“I like it,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “I’ve never understood the neighborhood play. If you’re supposed to step on the bag, you’re supposed to step on the bag. It’s like the phantom tag. If you put the tag down but don’t tag the guy, he’s safe. I also understand they’re trying to not get guys carted off the field. This will be a good rule.”



Baseball and the union also agreed to limit mound visits to 30 seconds and have cut the countdown clock for between-innings breaks by 20 seconds, to 2:05 for local games and 2:25 for nationally televised games.