SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After going over experimental Rule 7.13 with bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Royals manager Ned Yost didn't see much that's been changed. He did, however, believe it favors catchers.
"The biggest change is you can't barrel into a catcher, but everything else is basically the same," Yost said.
That suits Yost, who wants to protect the health of his Gold Glove and All-Star catcher, Salvador Perez.
Yost brushed past the wording that says a catcher cannot block the plate unless he has possession of the ball.
"That's always been the rule, there's no change in that. You can't block the plate without possession of the ball," he said. "Some guys get away with it and throw their leg out. [Mike] Scioscia used to be really good at it, but they'd bang him with an obstruction from time to time, too. That's always been the rule, there's no change there.
"You can't barrel into a catcher. That's the only change. That's really it. Nothing else really changes except you can't barrel into a catcher."
Yost, who used to catch for the Brewers, recalled a smashing blow he received from the Yankees' Bobby Murcer.
"It used to be more vicious. When I was catching, you knew that you were going to get your clock cleaned. So when you had time, I always took the opposite thought on the runner: I am going to inflict as much pain and damage on you and I'm fully equipped to protect myself. It kind of worked both ways back then. Now, they've kind of taken it away from the baserunner."
But that night, Murcer barreled into Yost before he could catch the ball. The New York Post, he said, recorded the moment in a three-photo sequence.
"That little sucker hit me as hard as I've ever been hit. And I've been hit by big guys -- Lance Parrish, Don Baylor -- but nobody hit me harder than Bobby Murcer hit me that night," he said.
Under the new rule, of course, Murcer would be called out.