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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Home Plate Collisions

Buster Posey broke his leg last night in a collision with Scott Cousins. The play was deemed "clean," but it nevertheless means that Posey will likely miss the rest of the season.

Last year, Carlos Santana injured his knee on a similar play. He missed the rest of his rookie season.

I just don't get why this has to continue: there is no obvious reason to me why collisions at home plate should continue be permitted. If they did not exist, would they be invented? No, I don't think they would. And it isn't like they remove all excitement from the game. Rather than a collision, wouldn't you instead want to see something like this?

Players are getting hurt. Beyond this being a workplace issue for them, their injuries means that we don't get to see exciting players play. Let's fix this.

It's an easy solution too.  The play is already illegal.  Catchers shouldn't block the plate without the ball, and baserunners should never be permitted to crush the opposing team's catcher.

After writing this, I discovered I was not the only one having these same thoughts:
  • Rob Neyer talks about it, and he's right. 
  • Tom Tango talks about it, and proposes and an even more extreme solution.  I don't think force-outs are necessary.  Let's just enforce the rules that are already on the books and keep baserunners from knocking over catchers.
  • Also, Dave Cameron.  Nice quote from Kevin Millar.