The MLB has completed the first step to eliminate home plate collisions from the Major League game. It has been apart of the game as far back as we know and it will come to a stop if the Players Union and Club Owners agree on it as well. It is all sparked from concussions and injuries involving home plate collisions.
So the question is, is this good or bad for the game of baseball?
Well, I see it both ways. Do you really need to run over the catcher to get that one run in May? Yeah, you do possibly, since every game matters. We see it more and more now, divisions and playoff spots are lost by one game and that one game could be in May when you had to slide instead of run over the catcher and you were out and you lose the game. You potentially miss the playoffs because of one play.
Most will say that games in May don’t really matter. Well, my question to you all is, how is that game in May any different from the one in August? There isn’t a difference is there? I’ll let you decide that.
On the other side of the coin, the runner runs over the catcher and the catcher has to spend a good amount of time on the Disabled List. You miss the playoffs because in his absence your team wasn’t the same. This rule has a lot of things that could go wrong, but a lot that could go right as well.
So is it worth taking the shot to win one game? I’ll let you debate that as well.
This rule could potentially put the runner at risk. Say a throw is up the line and into the running lane and you can’t run over the catcher. What do you do? Just let the guy that is in protective gear take you out because he is going after the ball… I don’t see the good in that one. The runner also has to be protected in some way. Also sliding into home becomes an issue. Now that catchers know they can’t be run over they will start to creep closer to blocking the plate. They won’t completely block it, but it will become partially blocked on most plays because of this rule, putting the runner at a disadvantage.
The good sign of it is the concussions. MLB has implemented a 7-day concussion Disabled List. It is becoming more prone in sports today, even if baseball isn’t the same amount of contact as football. Catchers take a beating from balls in the dirt, to balls fouled back into their mask. It is a dangerous position that is going to become a little safer because of this new rule.
Those are just some, not all, of the situations that could come into play next season with this rule in place. Not only that but we now have instant replay. The umpire will be able to go to replay to review a play at the plate if he feels the runner intentionally ran over the catcher. Umpires are getting more and more of the game put into their hands, when they can’t make a correct call if the runner was out of safe at first base, not a big fan of that.
The game is changing and depending on your view it is either for the better or worse. For me, I am the purist that loves the human element of the game, the hard nosed plays and the game is becoming worse for me. That is just my opinion. I have laid out some of the situations that can happen, so now you decide, is this good or bad for Major League Baseball? Let us know what you think and why in the comment section below.