Rather than ban home plate collisions outright, Major League Baseball and its players adopted a rule limiting them this season.
In what both sides said was a one-year experiment, the rule allows collisions if the catcher has the ball and is blocking the runner's direct path to home plate, and if the catcher goes into the basepath to field a throw to the plate. "It's not a radical departure from what it had been," Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The new rule, 7.13, states "a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate)." A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.
"It's good, I think it takes away the malicious intent behind the play at the plate," Texas Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "Obviously the runner doesn't always have to slide, and the catcher still has the ability to block the plate once he has the ball in hand."
Milan Hejduk, 38, announced his retirement after a stellar 14-year NHL career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise that included the 2001 Stanley Cup. Hejduk hadn't played this season after being limited by injuries to a career-low 29 games during the league's truncated season a year ago.
American forward Alex Morgan will miss the Algarve Cup next month because of an ankle injury that has sidelined the former Cal star since the start of the year. Among 24 players selected for the team Monday by coach Tom Sermanni were Stanford products Kelley O'Hara and Christen Press.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., 37, selected Marcos Maidana as his May 3 opponent. Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) will defend his World Boxing Council welterweight title in Las Vegas. Maidana, 30, is 35-3 with 31 knockouts.
Wire services contributed to this report.