BOSTON -- Major League Baseball heard you.
Loud and clear.
And just like that, MLB swiftly came to their senses Friday and put an end to all of this silliness.
Now, beginning with all of the games Friday night, a catch will once again be a catch.
Just like it was the last 140 years.
Wow, in this day and age, can you believe that common sense actually prevails?
Yep, even if the fielder drops the ball after trying to transfer the ball to his throwing hand, it will now be called a catch. It will now be called a forceout. It will now be called a tag.
Ah, the good ol' days are back.
Major League Baseball, which told the managers and umpiring crews this winter that they were going to go by the letter of the law with their transfer rule -- requiring that a player must have "secure possession" of the ball in his glove or hand -- now are telling everyone, "Ah, forget about it.''
MLB now says in their official release: "The Committee has determined that a legal catch has occurred pursuant to OBR 2.00 (Definition of Terms, "Catch"), or a valid force out or tag has occurred pursuant to OBR 2.00 (Definition of Terms, "Tag"), if the fielder had complete control over the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after intentionally opening his glove to make the transfer to his throwing hand.
"There is no requirement that the fielder successfully remove the ball from his glove in order for it be ruled a catch. If the fielder drops the ball while attempting to remove it to make a throw, the umpires should rule that the ball had been caught, provided that the fielder had secured it in his glove before attempting the transfer. The umpires will continue to use their judgment as to whether the fielder had complete control over the ball before the transfer.''
Awesome, now we can watch managers scream at umpires again, complaining about their own interpretation of the transfer.
This whole controversy began when the MLB rules committee decided to enforce the transfer rule last winter with the adoption of instant replay.
The way the committee figured it, the rule would make it easier for the umpires and instant replay crews, certainly making it more consistent.
If an infielder or outfielder dropped a ball after making a catch, even if he dropped it while trying to make a throw, it would be ruled safe.
"They made it clear to us in spring training that's the way it would be,'' Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter told USA TODAY Sports. "We told them it would be a problem, but they said this was the way it was going to be.
"So I don't know why there were so many arguments, since they called it just the way they told us.''
The umpiring union thought it was a little silly, but you know what, they had no problem with it. This way, at least, there would be consistency. Gone were the days when one umpire would rule it an out and the other safe, depending how long he held the ball.
"We did a good job with it,'' veteran umpire Joe West told USA TODAY Sports. "No one can argue about that. We were consistent.''
Well, with all of the criticism after the first three weeks, with managers ready to strangle umpires, and everyone ready to go Joe Girardi on the dugout camera, Major League Baseball got together with the players union, the rules committee and umpires union last weekend.
And talked. And talked. And talked.
They decided that, you know what, if the rule was good enough the past 140 years, it's good enough now.
"It just didn't make any sense,'' New York Yankees reliever Matt Thornton told USA TODAY Sports after twice being victimized by the new interpretation. "It was crazy.''
Besides, it was a little hypocritical to interpret the transfer rule by the letter of the law, and at the same time, ignore the neighborhood play at second base. You know, where as long as the infielder is close enough to the second-base bag with an oncoming runner, it was good enough.
Now, we're back to the good ol' fashioned way plays are called.
Who knows, may even get around to actually defining how catchers are supposed to permit a lane for an oncoming runner to the plate?
"I'm still waiting for that one,'' Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierznyski says. "I still don't understand it.''
Hey, one step at a time, please.
Let's give baseball a chance to celebrate a dose of common sense, first.