SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, was at Salt River Fields on Friday for the MLBPA's annual meeting with Rockies players and coaches.
Clark, who took over for the late Michael Weiner in December, described the session as a "state of the union," during which players could ask questions about any issues.
There are plenty of topics to discuss following an offseason that Clark called the busiest he remembers in a non-bargaining year. Among the biggest were expanded instant replay, new experimental home-plate collision rules and the possibility of stiffer penalties for violators of the joint drug agreement.
Clark said that the response on instant replay has been "cautious optimism" and that he expects everybody to be on the same page by Opening Day.
"What you've seen in Spring Training is a snapshot in protocol, not necessarily the process," said Clark, mentioning the difference in the number of cameras, communication tools and technology. "Guys are getting more and more comfortable with it, and the expectation is, going forward, some of those early kinks may be worked out and we'll find ourselves at a place where it's working even more effectively."
When it comes to the collision rules, Clark is in favor of making players safer but is open to reviewing the rules, if needed, depending on what happens.
As for stiffer penalties, Clark said that the MLBPA is mainly focused on the program as a whole, not just discipline. But that doesn't mean harsher penalties for users of performance-enhancing drugs haven't been discussed.
"We have and continue to have those conversations to see if we can put something together that makes a whole lot of sense going forward with respect to the program and how it functions," he said.