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MLB near agreement on new home-plate collision rule

Feb 19, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

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Joe Torre, a member of MLB’s Playing Rules Committee, admitted last week that he and his colleagues were having trouble putting into words the new rule that will ban home-plate collisions. “It’s not finished being written because it’s not easy,” he said.

But it sounds like some progress is being made.

A source told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday evening that the new rule should be instituted within the next 24 to 48 hours, presumably with the cooperation of the Players’ Association.

For an idea of how the ban on collisions might change the aesthetic of home plate plays read the following excerpt from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who discussed the matter recently with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny:

[Matheny] described for the media how catchers used to set up at the point nearest third base and, once they had the throw, would then move to block the plate. Now, as a third baseman often does, the catchers will set up on the first-base side of the plate and approach it as a tag play where the glove must be able to reach all points of the plate.

Home-plate collisions brought nothing positive to professional baseball. They will not be missed.

  1. kraa0901 - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    “Home-plate collisions brought nothing positive to professional baseball. They will not be missed.”

    Ummmmmm- yes they did. They led to A.J. Pierzynski getting punched in the face! How is that not positive? And in all actuality, they are pretty fun to watch.

    • illuminancer - Feb 19, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Fun to watch for you, maybe. I’ve seen the Cousins-Posey collision about a hundred times, and that’s about a hundred times too many.

      Though I’ll grant that seeing Pierzynski getting punched in the face would be kind of awesome.

      • mick2014 - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        They should just change the MLB logo to a cream puff, after all that is what the sport has become a bunch of pansies!

    • natstowngreg - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Sounds like a case of the right thing being done for the wrong reason.

  2. willduhbeast - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Another example of how sports are being wussified.

    • frank433 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      If you want violence, watch boxing or mma.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      So, in your mind, slam dancing makes you wussless? You may be on to something. Bumper cars are DEFINITELY more badass than drag races.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        I can just imagine this guy on the bumper cars and hassling kids as he runs into them. Something along the lines of “O’Doyle rules!”

    • nategearhart - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Just like seatbelts in cars. Buncha wusses on the road these days.

    • razdchamp - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      How is it being wussifyed? There banning it because catchers are getting injured due to play collision. Also they don’t want there players injured for the season. It might have been cool to watch but I think it’s a great idea to ban home plate collisons.

      • chunkala - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Catchers are getting hurt because they are illegally blocking the plate without the ball. Check the MLB rulebook, catchers aren’t allowed to do this. Everyone here makes it seem as if runners are going out of their way to hurt the catcher. Ridiculous.

  3. chiadam - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Catchers can’t always set up where this rule would like them to. They set up where the throw leads them. And I still don’t get what’s supposed to happen when a catcher receives the throw, is on the plate, and a runner is running at him. Should he apologize and move out of the way? Or should the runner stop running and drop into the fetal position so he can be tagged out? Please explain.

    • itsmekirill - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      The runner and the catcher should do what they would try to do at any other base. The runner should slide and the catcher should try to tag him before he reaches the base. I don’t see why this is complicated or why it should be different from the same runner trying to get into second or third.

      • chiadam - Feb 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM

        With the major and obvious difference being that there is almost a 0% chance of a fielder at any other base actually standing in front of the base. The catcher has a very real chance of having no choice but to to be in front of the plate, hence blocking it. So the runner should slide into home and hope he slides through the catcher? And at least when they slide into other bases the fielders aren’t wearing a suit of armor. The runner has no chance in your scenario. Just call him out if the throw beats him.

      • Alex K - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        At any other base the runner doesn’t really have a chance to get that base if the throw beats him, either. If the catcher is standing in the baseline to block the plate it should be obstruction and the runner gets the base.

    • matthrws82 - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Lmao just the mental picture of that alone is funny

    • razdchamp - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      He should slide lol

  4. jaylaw01 - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:14 AM

    I am torn on this rule because I still play in a competitive league and have played catcher for 30 years. I love the collisions at the plate. Granted I don’t have 250lb giants running at me-more like 195lb working stiffs. Regardless, you can’t block any other bag so why has it been allowed for catchers to block the plate? No one has ever given me a good reason.
    That being said, stop taking the fun out of sports. The NFL is 5 years away from being a flag football, 5 Mississippi rushing league, soccer and basketball are all about flopping around for the cameras with zero D and hockey fights are way down. Is it any wonder that UFC/MMA are gaining in popularity?
    Leave collisions in! If catchers don’t want to get hit, stay on the 1st base side of the plate and go for the swipe!

    • historiophiliac - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      It’s really useless (and tiresome) when people use changes in other sports to complain about a baseball issue. The home plate collision is not a fundamental part of baseball (like even bunting), so it’s not like the game is really changing. In my mind, this is like having a rule against hitting batters, which has long been against the rules. In any case, it doesn’t matter at all to baseball what happens in football or soccer.

  5. thedoubleentandres - Feb 20, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    Dont worry, for anyone who still wants to see ball players killing each other, The Cubans put on one goddam hell of a show

  6. offseasonblues - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    If you don’t want collisions at home plate, the obvious solution, to me at least, is to make plays at the plate like plays at first. The throw either beats the runner or it doesn’t. The catcher’s foot is touching the plate or it isn’t.

    • pauleee - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Why go that far? There are tag plays at every base, but it’s only at home where a runner sometimes decides to forego any attempt at touching the plate and simply lowers his shoulder to knock the ball out of the catcher’s hand. This is what is what they are trying to eliminate.

  7. tragicallyripped - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I agree with offseasonblues. As much as people would complain about it being too much like slopitch, it would seem to be the easiest way. Otherwise there is gonna be too many incidents where either the runner or catcher are unsure about what they’re supposed to do

  8. thisdamnbox - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    As a Giants fan, I’m fine with collisions at the plate. The rule should have been: Regardless of when the ball arrives, if the runner has a lane to the plate, no collision or the run is an out (Cousins had an open lane to score on that dreadful collision). But if the catcher blocks the runner’s path to plate completely, have at him. Home plate is where the runs are scored, and runs still decide the outcome of a game, so if you don’t want to get blasted, then sweep tag. Ballsier catchers or the importance of the run will still give the catcher freedom to block if they so choose. But hold on for a ride…

  9. yordo - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    This is a huge mistake. Heed my words.

  10. Jonny 5 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Everywhere BUT MLB requires the runner to slide and try to tag the plate or be called out during a close play at home.

    Furthermore if MLB would tweak the rules to call any tag, even one involving a dislodged ball an out runners would no longer have any need or desire to crush the catcher during close plays. This simple change would fix it.

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