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Some Mound Conferences In 2013 Will Be... Different

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Presuming MLB owners approve a rule change, you might see an additional person joining the scrum on the pitcher's mound during certain conferences.

Brian Garfinkel
This sort of baseball story usually would appear in MLB Bullets, but I thought it deserved its own story, particularly since it could affect the Cubs. Jayson Stark has the details:
Baseball owners approved a rule change last week, several sources have told ESPN, that would allow coaches and managers to bring interpreters to the mound this season for conferences with foreign-born pitchers who don't speak fluent English.

I don't know how fluent Kyuji Fujikawa is in English, but it's possible you'll see an interpreter come out to the mound with Chris Bosio or Dale Sveum while he's out there. The same could be true for any Spanish-speaking (or Korean, or from Taiwan, for that matter) pitcher on the Cubs or any other team.

Two other rule changes for 2013 await final ownership approval. Since some teams have added an assistant hitting coach -- including the Cubs, who hired Rob Deer for this role -- teams will now be permitted to have a seventh coach in uniform in the dugout during games. And, the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move will now be considered a balk. That rule needs Players Association approval, too:

MLB has the ability to implement that change unilaterally for this season, but is hopeful the players will agree to the new rule so it can be implemented jointly, sources said.