This week, the Major League Baseball Rules Committee approved a ban on home plate collisions.
As fans, we’ve seen collisions at the plate that have ended well (think Atlanta’s Chipper Jones plowing into Phillies catcher Erik Kratz in August 2012) and collisions that have ended badly (think Scott Cousins of the Marlins breaking the leg of Giants’ catcher Buster Posey in May 2011). A play at the plate can be very exciting, but the risk is real. Is a run on the scoreboard worth the possibility of a serious injury? There are various opinions on the matter. No one wants to see a player get hurt, but personally, I think there are circumstances (e.g. a game winning run or any time in the postseason) that make the risk worthwhile.
During Winter Meetings this week in Orlando, Florida, the league is meeting to make changes to the official rule book. New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, announced the ban on collisions today. “We want to change the culture of acceptance that these plays are ordinary and routine,” Alderson stated. The change will be drafted and sent to owners, then to MLBPA. Alderson added that if the Players’ Association rejects the change, MLB is permitted to implement the ban in 2015 anyway.
I’m interested to hear fans’ opinions on the matter, but I think it will be more interesting to hear from players. I’m sure the Buster Poseys of MLB aren’t fond of having wannabe linebackers plow into them, but we also have the Erik Kratzes who hold up just fine as tight ends. Stay tuned.