In the last post I covered, for the most part, the rules on the field that will be changing in 2007. This was the first time rule changes had been made since 1996. Here is a link to the official document and there are a few others as well.
Only common sense. Now if they would only do the same for games "suspended" because of rain.
Specifically the rule states that fielders "must have one or both feet on or over the playing surface and neither foot on the ground inside the dugout or in any other out-of-play area." Seems obvious. A fielder shouldn't be allowed to record an out while not on the field of play.
This codifies the existing interpretation.
This also seems like a codification of what the normal practice has been.
There were also scoring rule changes (section 10.00 of the rules) made, a summary of which can be found here. One of the interesting changes is that the wording in rules 10.09(b) (not 10.08(b) as the document says) has been changed so that a batter will be awarded a hit on a sac bunt if "ordinary effort" rather than a "perfect play" would have retired him had the fielder not chosen to try and put out another runner.
There is also now a possibly wider definition of defensive indifference covered under rule 10.08(g) (and not under 10.07(g) as the document says). Under the old rule "No stolen base shall be scored when a runner advances solely because of the defensive team’s indifference to his advance. Score as a fielder’s choice." Under the new rule the scorer is instructed to take into account the "totality" of the circumstances. This could be interpreted as including when a catcher and/or pitcher simply seem unconcerned with the runner and even when a half-hearted play is actually made on the runner. It'll be interesting to see how scorers use the new wording.
In other changes:
Interesting. Taking a little power away from the scorer.