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NFL rule change allows officiating department to have players ejected


Tuesday’s changes in the NFL rulebook weren’t limited to the catch rule. NFL owners have approved a rule allowing a member of the officiating department to instruct on-field officials to eject players guilty of a flagrant non-football act as long as a foul has been called for that act.

The quietus struck the 2017 Dodgers on the first night of November, when Corey Seager grounded out to kick off the Astros’ celebratory melee at Dodger Stadium. That ended what had been a glorious seven-month quest for the Dodgers, marked by 104 regular-season wins and the club’s first pennant since 1988.

The quest ended one step shy of Valhalla. Their pennant drought had ended, which we were reminded of again on Saturday when the Dodgers held a ring ceremony to commemorate their National League championship. But their title drought extended yet another year, reaching 29 seasons. An entire generation of Dodgers fans has grown up without knowing what it’s like to win it all.

If we’re able to have replay confirm one of these fouls and also confirms a player be ejected, Goodell said as the league meetings concluded, I think there is more confidence among the coaches it will be called accurately. After noting the unanimous approval of the new rule among coaches, Goodell said on-field officials felt the same way.

In a different era of Dodgers baseball, this winter might have played out differently. To come so close to winning it all when you have the resources — both in terms of cash and prospect depth — that the Dodgers have, you might be inclined to do something rash.

That is not how the team operates. Star power combined with elite depth characterizes these Dodgers. They spend richly but rationally, while keeping the minor league pipeline full. It’s the glitz of Los Angeles combined with the discipline of a small-market club, the latter a trait team president Andrew Friedman brought with him from his days in Tampa Bay.patriots_102

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