There is a huge debate about baseball, as mentioned on live at five, banning home plate collisions.
How about MLB banning home plate collisions! Catchers will not be able to block the plate. It still has to pass the MLBPA this winter.
— Keith Mondillo (@keithmondillo) December 12, 2013
Baseball Icon Pete Rose is upset
“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play?” Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after MLB announced its plan Wednesday. “You’re not allowed to pitch inside. The hitters wear more armor than the Humvees in Afghanistan. Now you’re not allowed to try to be safe at home plate?” Rose said. “What’s the game coming to? Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.”
And fans on twitter are outraged:
Catchers cannot block the plate??? Wtf MLB? It is part of the game…it is part of the risk. Unreal. — Bones (@BBones99) December 12, 2013
Next year catchers aren’t going to be allowed to block home plate? SERIOUSLY?!?! EVERY sport is being panzified besides ice hockey — Jordan Barden (@JBar_13) December 12, 2013
Apparently this decision is not final:
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement at the winter meetings, saying the change would go into effect for next season if the players’ association approved.
But the fans continue to scoff:
If you’re a catcher you know its your job to block the plate and you accept that. ITS A PART OF THE GAME. deal with it.
— Bj Hobbs (@bj_hobbs) December 12, 2013
Rules committee proposes banning #MLB home plate collisions. Next on the block: high-fives. Sometimes they sting, ya know.
— Gordon Deal (@GordonDeal) December 12, 2013
Regular readers of this blog know I’m a baseball fan and I’m sure you’re wondering what my thoughts are they can be expressed in one simple exclamation!
Blocking the Plate is illegal and always has been.
The rules of baseball ALREADY forbid a defensive player to obstruct an offensive player as Red Sox fans learned in gave three of the World Series at St. Louis even if it is accidental as one ESPN analyst put it at the time:
So it sounds like the only way Middlebrooks could have avoided obstruction would have been to secretly be Nightcrawler from the X-men.
— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) October 27, 2013
Well that doesn’t apply to the Catcher does it? Not only does it, the rules explicitly say so.
NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.
OK so the Catcher can’t block the plate without the ball, but what about WITH the ball? You can still have collisions when the runner barrels into him to jar the ball loose. Surely they need change the rules to account for that?
Actually, they don’t.
(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. (emphasis mine) If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.
This has always been the rule as Red Sox fans, and Yankee Fans will doubtless remember A-Rod during game six in 2004.
Fan anger not withstanding the rules of baseball already forbid a catcher from blocking the plate without the ball and the rules also forbid the runner from interference of the Catcher, ball in hand, trying to make the play. The reason fans think otherwise is because the rules were never enforced.
So the question becomes: Why haven’t the rules been enforced all these years?
The answer is simple: Spectacular plays at the plate play well on ESPN and sell DVD’s and tickets so everyone from owners to players were willing to pretend the rules didn’t say what they did.
Sounds a lot like our current immigration laws, ignored for the profit of others and the solution is to the problem is exactly the same.
Start enforcing the laws/rules as they written!
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