It’s Time to End Home Plate Collisions

I’m not the first person to say this today, and I’m sure I won’t be the last, but it’s hard to watch the collision at home plate last night that broke Buster Posey‘s leg and think anything besides “that should not be part of baseball.”

Let’s set aside blame for a second; I’m not here to vilify Scott Cousins, the player’s association, or the rules committee. Cousins did what he’s been trained to do, he did it because it’s a legal play by the rulebook, and he was trying to help his team win a baseball game. However, I just don’t see any reason why that play should be allowed in the sport.

At no other position is a runner entitled to simply run over the defender hoping to dislodge the baseball before returning to touch the base safely. When Alex Rodriguez tried to swat the ball out of Bronson Arroyo‘s glove in 2004 – with his hand, offering no chance at bodily harm to Arroyo – he was roundly mocked and called out for interference. After the game, Kevin Millar said this:

If you want to play football, strap on some pads and go play for the Green Bay Packers.”

There was very little violence in Rodriguez’s actions, but because he initiated contact to try and dislodge the ball, it was considered a football-like move. Meanwhile, Cousins literally threw his entire body weight into Posey at home plate, breaking his leg in the process, but that’s okay because he was wearing a chest protector?

I was a catcher in high school, and I was trained how to block the plate while trying to keep myself alive. High School isn’t MLB, but I still found myself in a few situations where a significantly larger player was barreling towards me at full speed, and I realized that I had to stop being a baseball player and start being a gladiator. It was ridiculous to me then and is ridiculous to me now.

Millar is right – if you want to watch violent collisions, you can watch football. Or hockey. Or MMA. There’s no reason baseball needs to have similar kinds of plays; it’s an entirely different sport with a different premise and different rules. Well, at every base but home anyways.

Major League catchers already endure enough wear and tear on their bodies as is. They break down in their early thirties and have the shortest careers of any position on the field. Why should we also expect them to have to stand in and take hits that no other player on the field has to take? Why do they have to be football players when everyone else gets to play baseball?

It’s in the best interest of the sport to keep the likes of Buster Posey and Carlos Santana healthy and on the field. It’s not good for anyone that these guys end up on the disabled list because they were trying to hold their ground. Just change the rules and make intentional contact with a catcher illegal, and make it illegal for catcher’s to impede the baserunner’s ability to run directly towards home plate. It’s a simple fix to a real problem, and there’s no reason why we should continue to delay making this change.

Buster Posey should be the last catcher in baseball history to suffer an injury on that kind of play. L




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


366 Responses to “It’s Time to End Home Plate Collisions”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. ian says:

    exactly this.

    slow clap.

    +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • swyck says:

      Agree 100%. This is not football. The catcher will also have to leave part of the plate uncovered.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tim blumenstock says:

      thank you sir, this type of violent collision is not necessary or desired in the game of baseball. I pretty much guarantee you it never happened until Pete Rose did it in the 1970 all-star game. A good hard slide or evasive action is what can and should be allowed, not this!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. pepe says:

    If you cant run over a catcher then they shouldn’t be allowed to block the plate. So yea not gonna happen. Deal with it, live with it. it’s part of the game.

    -44 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jld says:

      Did you read the article?

      And even if you did, easy enough to make blocking the plate against the rules.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • pepe says:

        Yes, and I pretty much said they aren’t going to allow the plate not to be blocked. Might as well be playing in tutus if they do.

        -55 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Lukehart80 says:

        Wait, why tutus???

        Oh… I get it: it’s because ballerinas wear tutus and most ballerinas are women or little girls. You’re saying that if catchers aren’t willing to block the plate they’re like women and that’s analogous to being “not tough” in your mind.

        Thanks for your insight, pepe. I’m so glad you were here today to share your wisdom with everyone.

        +28 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matt says:

      “Just change the rules and make intentional contact with a catcher illegal, and make it illegal for catcher’s to impede the baserunner’s ability to run directly towards home plate.”

      He covered that

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • HRB says:

      1000x this.

      The reason it doesn’t happen at first is because the first baseman isn’t allowed to stand in front of the bag and physically block the runner from getting to the base.

      Don’t allow the catcher to block home, and these collisions don’t happen.

      Also, it’s easy to say, “This is crap! Completely outrageous!” But what’s your solution.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gomez says:

      I repeat this every time I see it and I’m going to do it here.

      If there’s one ignorant, close-minded phrase in baseball discussions that I am sick of hearing or reading, it has to be “It’s part of the game.” And I’m fairly sure I’m not alone in this.

      You know what else used to be part of the game? Racial segregation. Amphetamines. Pitchers doctoring the baseball. Calling games due to sundown because stadiums didn’t have lights. Pitchers throwing and throwing and throwing with minimal rest, even through troublesome pain, until their arms fell off or until they made the Hall of Fame, whichever came first.

      And all these things changed because someone finally woke up and realize that just because these stupid, nonsensical things were part of the game doesn’t mean you should just mindlessly accept them if you can possibly change them.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jr says:

      If the plate is blocked and the catcher has the ball, then you are beat. You lost. You’re out. Deal with it, live with it. And if you try to say Posey was blocking the plate watch the replay. He wasn’t. The plate was wide open for the taking.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. PaulScarfo says:

    They should also ban those ‘walk-off-win’ celebrations. Someone’s bound to get hurt doing all that jumping.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Zonis says:

    I am expecting about three hundred interviews with Ray Fosse in the next few days.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. mattmaison says:

    Should all WRs and RBs run out of bounds before being tackled also? Better yet, we’d better just move to two hand touch.

    -59 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • bowie says:

      did you even read the article?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pat says:

      I don’t think baseball is meant to be a contact sport so this comparison is way off.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mattmaison says:

        I was thinking along the lines that it’s part of the game, but you’re right, bad comparison.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • David M. says:

        This attitude, expressed here and all over the comment section, really bugs me. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that people as dedicated and as passionate about baseball should be a little educated about its past, too.

        Do you people not realize what baseball was like in the early days? It was BRUTAL. The stuff about sharpened spikes? Not an exaggeration. Baserunners would get punched, tripped, elbowed, you name it. It was a rough game.

        You don’t want to see contact in the game now? That’s fine. But I don’t think it’s appropriate to a). be so arrogant as to think that you know what is part of the game and was isn’t; b). overlook or ignore eras of the game that don’t fit your argument.

        +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WeznothZealots says:

        David M,

        Well Cameron is quite arrogant so ya ..

        And in reference to your “high school playing days”, collisions at home plate have never been allowed. Ever. Not when I played and not now. So thanks for that little fiction.

        -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matt says:

      No, they shouldn’t move to two hand touch, but they should wear ice skates and carry tennis rackets. Or in other words, what do other sports’ rules have to do with baseball?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • R says:

      That’s not even close to being the equivalent but nice try.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mr. wOBAto says:

      or even make it illegal to hit someone below the waist when they are already engaged, or make it illegal to hit a kicker, or a defenseless reciever, or a quarterback who is sliding feet first. Why not just make them all wear Tutus?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Bo says:

    Thank you. This sort of thing that happened to Buster is bad for baseball. Get rid of collisions at the plate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. ChrisR says:

    What about takeout slides? The Twins 2B broke his leg because of one. I say you can’t take out intentional contact at home without taking away intentional contact at EVERY base.

    +32 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BigNachos says:

      Yeah, those should be eliminated as well, though second base is the only base where it ever happens.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • juan pierre's mustache says:

        takeout slides are also something the 2nd baseman tries to avoid–i agree it could be made safer but even nishioka mentioned that his unfamiliarity with the takeout slide was part of the problem. At 2nd base, at least the fielder is trained to move, rather than both players intentionally putting themselves in a position to collide as is the case at home plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dale says:

        Brian McCann got upended at home plate while turning a double play last night.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Everett says:

        I’d have no problem with tossing players who intentionally go out of the basepath on a takout slide. That’s uncalled for.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ed says:

      also.. the SS/2B doesnt have to stand infront of the sliding baserunner to get the out. They just have to touch the bag and move out of the way.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. srriley84 says:

    The thing I hate about this play is that POSEY WASN”T BLOCKING THE PLATE!

    There are times when the catcher is actually blocking the plate and the runner just slides into him like he’s sliding into a brick wall. Happens all the time.

    There are other times (like this one) when the runner goes out of his way to run into the catcher to try and jar the ball loose.

    +26 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • HRB says:

      Posey was blocking the plate until the throw pulled him off. But by that time, Cousins had already seen Posey blocking the plate, the throw about to beat him, and he had already decided on a course of action. It would be great if he could make a split second correction in 5 milliseconds after he realized Posey was pulled off the plate and no longer blocking it, but I think that’s a tad unrealistic.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Did you even watch the play?

        -15 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        The only way Posey was blocking the plate, was if the pitcher was trying to get to it from the mound.

        Posey was standing in front of the plate before Cousins reached the dirt area of home plate. Even then you can see Cousins drifting toward the front of the plate instead of toward the back of it.

        It’s as obvious as it gets. I’ve been on both the receiving and giving end of these types of plays. I’ve also seen my RF break a catcher’s collarbone by absolutely obliterating him in college. Gruesome.

        The real problems are:

        [1] Concussions
        [2] The catcher’s knees and ankles being vulnerable due to hyperextensions and breaks.

        Just getting knocked “sideways” isn’t really that much of a concern.

        There’s not much a catcher can do to “brace themselves” against something like this.

        Like I said in another thread/discussion, there was a time when a batter wearing a helmet would have been considered wimpy or ridiculous, and definitely not a part of men’s baseball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hunterfan says:

        Matt, did you?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        “The only way Posey was blocking the plate, was if the pitcher was trying to get to it from the mound.”

        Bogus. Watch the video. Pause it as soon as Cousins comes into view. Where is Posey’s leg? It’s between Cousins and the plate.

        You can’t say Posey wasn’t blocking the plate just because he moved his leg at the last second (which is actually what caused the injury). He intended to block it and he did block it – until the throw pulled him forward. And once the throw arrived, he was on his way right back.

        And nobody should expect more than Posey’s foot to have been in the way. It’s obnoxious that people are pretending that they do. No catcher blocks the plate with his entire body while waiting for the throw. You’re taught to receive the throw out in front/over the plate, with your foot back to block the slide.

        Posey did exactly that. Cousins only choices were to hook slide around the foot or collide with the catcher. Cousins saw the throw beat him to the plate and if he hook slides, he is out 100% of the time the catcher catches the ball. Colliding is the only choice if he wants to be safe – and the collision was completely clean.

        It’s one thing to be unhappy about the rules and another to completely rewrite this particular story. Cousins collided with Posey because Posey was blocking the plate. That Posey pulled his leg away at the last second is an irrelevant detail.

        +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Yes, I did Hunterfan. I actually have it on my computer screen right now. It’s paused, with Posey’s left foot at least 6 inches in front of the corner of the plate as he’s receiving the ball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hunterfan says:

        Matt, I completely agree with Rev Black’s assessment, which he wrote much better than I could have. Bottom line, I saw it the same way.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steroid Shuffle says:

      Picture of collision: http://i1196.photobucket.com/albums/aa405/slurpster03/d66snu.jpg

      If Posey was not blocking the plate, then it was unnecessary to run into him. This play is not allowed in the NCAA or Japan, and shouldn’t be allowed in the MLB either.

      It’s been said before; why should a runner be allowed to throw his body into a catcher that is not blocking the plate, especially considering that baseball is a non-contact sport? Just unnecessary.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jld says:

        That picture is a forensic train-wreck. Nothing quite like projecting a 3D event onto a 2D plane from a random and arbitrary point of view.

        +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Great picture. I like that you illustrated the direction Cousins is moving in too because some people are saying that Posey didn’t move out of the way until the last second, not allowing Cousins to change direction. If that were true, why isn’t Cousins going towards the plate?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Time did not begin with Cousins’ lunge into Posey, and so neither could the decision to do so. Take frames from the previous moments and discover that Posey’s body – his leg, specifically – is between Cousins and home plate.

        Posey moves his leg as he receives the throw, and that’s why you get that picture. And that doesn’t matter at all. What is that you propose? That Cousins ought to have prepared to throw a shoulder block into Posey’s left ankle? I can imagine the outrage that would follow from such a play, from the same people so bent out of shape that he collided with posey’s upper body instead.

        Cousins has two choices if he wants to be safe:hook slide or collision. At the time that he must make this choice, Posey’s foot is still in the way, so a direct slide is not an option.

        If you choose to collide, you don’t collide with a leg or an arm; that’s brutal. You collide with the catcher who is going to tag you out. Does this really need explaining. The arrows in that photo are just silly.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        Re: the collision picture.

        Yes, the indicated path to home plate is indeed clear **if you are as this as the arrow that indicates it.**

        Scott Cousins does not hail from Flatland, my friend.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        Stinking typo. “…if you are as THIN as the arrow…”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AKevin says:

        @Rev Black, JoeD
        If anything those lines are generous. Cousins was well off in foul territory when his path to Posey began. (strike 1)
        Also, Cousins didn’t need to touch the center of the plate where the arrow points. (strike 2)
        And you’re right Cousins is not as thin as that arrow. But a portion of him that may be thinner than that arrow is more than enough to make him safe at home. (strike 3)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        @AKevin
        “If anything those lines are generous. Cousins was well off in foul territory when his path to Posey began.”

        I’d ask anyone who is interested to watch the video.
        (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110526&content_id=19594042&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb)
        At no point in time is Cousins out of the dirt path of the baseline, let alone “well off in foul territory.”

        “Also, Cousins didn’t need to touch the center of the plate where the arrow points.”

        Irrelevant. From Cousins’ point-of-view, Posey is clearly attempting to block the plate, and is likely to be even more aggressive doing so once he has the ball, seeing as all of his motions are geared toward doing just that. At the point where Cousins is just outside of the circle, Posey’s left leg is situated — in the path of the plate — so that he can easily and quickly swing left, block and apply tag. At that point in time, Cousins is already traveling full speed, and is no more that 15-20 feet from Posey. He has virtually no chance of avoiding Posey by that time even were he to notice Posey move his leg or lose the ball, which **hadn’t even happened yet**.

        “And you’re right Cousins is not as thin as that arrow. But a portion of him that may be thinner than that arrow is more than enough to make him safe at home.”

        Right, and I’m pretty sure if Cousins felt he could score by slowing down and delicately placing his index finger on the plate, he would have. He’s traveling at full speed, and he’s 15-20 feet away from Posey, who is blocking his path. Using the arrow in the picture as an indicator of anything useful is beyond disingenuous.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TK says:

        It looks to me from that picture that Cousins tried to dive up and over Posey at a 60 degree angle and Posey jumped in the air to create the collision.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      This is absolutely right. It seems to me that Cousins should have been called out for interference simply b/c Posey wasn’t blocking the plate. I’m not implying that Cousins did something “dirty”. I’m just saying that he had an avenue to the plate; it’s not like he couldn’t reach the plate w/o going through Posey.

      Allowing this sort of thing to happen is insane.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. The Ancient Mariner says:

    Isn’t it already against the rules for catchers to impede the baserunner’s ability to run directly towards home plate? I mean, I know it’s not enforced, but you’re certainly not allowed to do that at any other base — especially if you don’t have the ball. It’s interference.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. mcbrown says:

    What I’ve never understood is why catchers themselves don’t just end the practice by refusing to block the plate…, I can’t recall a single instance where blocking the plate allowed a catcher to record an out they wouldn’t have recorded by simply stepping out of the way and applying a tag. Either the ball is there in time to make the play or it isn’t, and if it is there with enough time to get yourself in position to take a hit then it is there with enough time for you to apply a tag. Is it all just a misguided sense of manly duty?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TheMooseOfDeath says:

      I’ve seen many instances in which the catcher’s leg blocking the plate completely stops a sliding player from touching the plate when that player would have easily scored otherwise. So yes, it actually does make a difference.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mcbrown says:

        Really? How often does it happen? Once a season? Once a month? Once a day? I doubt it happens frequently enough to be worth even one injury like this per year.

        -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TheMooseOfDeath says:

        I’ve seen it happen many more times than a collision at the plate (and by collision at the plate, I mean lowering your shoulder and straight-up tackling a catcher).

        As for how often these blocking of slides occurs, I would guess every other week, perhaps every three weeks on average (and I’m thinking in terms of individual teams). Seriously, how often is there a close play at the plate? Once every game? I would readily say much less frequent than that. And how are we supposed to collect that data? Those instances don’t exactly show up in the stats; maybe they do in the highlights the next day.

        As for causing an “injury like this per year,” that type of situation is much less conducive to injury than a collision at the plate. Then again, that all depends on how a catcher readies himself; merely sticking your leg out there is much riskier than planting your knee down in front of the plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TheMooseOfDeath says:

        And if you want an example of what I’m describing, here’s a good (and fairly recent) one:

        http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14459259

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        I’ve probably seen Wieters do it half a dozen times this year. Off the top of my head, I specifically remember a sac fly that sent Jeter home and a high throw from Adam Jones. Wiethers blocked the plate, and Jeter slid in and just stopped. That gave Wieters time to bring the throw down and swipe the tag. That’s just one time I remember very specifically, but I know Wieters has pulled it off several times a year.

        As an aside, one way to get this point across would just be to force all runners to try to run over Matt Wieters. It would not go well for the majority of them.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        Here’s that play by the way: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_04_24_nyamlb_balmlb_1&mode=wrap&c_id=bal No way is Jeter out unless Wieters blocks him from getting to the plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DKlein says:

        The videos are a good indication that you can only block the plate once you have the ball per the rules. I am sure MLB has numbers or the ability to get the numbers of how often the plays at the plate happen. I think player safety is important and while I am not advocating a rule change I think it would be in the best interest of MLB to just take a look at the number of times these collisions happen in a season and the amount/severity of the injuries. If the numbers show an increase or a high enough amount of times it happens it would behoove MLB to consider possibilities to limit/lower these situations.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Kevin says:

    It’s only okay until someone good gets hurt.

    +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. CircleChange11 says:

    I think home plate should be treated like the other 3 bases. No blocking the plate. No colliding with fielders.

    Ray Lankford, and Norm Charlton highlights aside, it rarely works out.

    Given all the emphasis on concussions, this is one area where a lot of potentially dangerous situations could be eliminated altogether.

    I’m for treating home plate as just any other base.

    ——————————————

    In THIS situation, Posey was not blocking the plate, but was in front of it. His leg/thigh was not in the baseline, sealing off the plate.

    Cousins was going to be out by a good margin because he tried to tag on a shallow fly ball. He had the back half of the plate open, if he wanted it. Lots of guys use this slide in highlights every day, slide away from the plate, extend left hand, swiping across the plate and avoiding the tag. This may be the one thing Skip Schumaker does well.

    He didnt want it because he’d have been tagged out. Due to his (or his coach’s) dumb decision to tag, his only chance at being safe was to knock the ball loose. … and that’s what he chose to do.

    I’ve said this a few times already, so I’ll stop.

    My big point is that catchers, despite the catcher’s gear), are “defenseless on throws coming from center and left field. Even if they are not blocking the plate, the runner still has the “legal right” to plow the catcher rather than try to avoid a tag.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      You made two excellent points that I hadn’t heard from anybody else yet.

      1) Cousins (or his coach) was responsible for being late getting to the plate. Others have said he didn’t have time to do anything different because you can’t change direction when you’re going full speed and are closing in on the plate. That’s like me driving 80 MPH in a 40 MPH
      zone and running a red light because I was going too fast to stop. If I had made a better decision to start with I wouldn’t of been in that position!

      2) Cousins could of slid behind the plate and slapped it with his left hand as he went by, just as you said. Doing that would of avoided the collision and made it very difficult for Posey to tag him from where he was standing.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Terry says:

    At no other base is the defender allowed to completely block the baserunner’s path to the base with the sole purpose of being a human wall…..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matt says:

      Players actually do it quite frequently when you think about it. How many times do you see runners running to first and the first basemen (or sometimes pitcher) field the ball and stand in the way and tag the runner. Granted, in that situation it’s a force out at first, so it’s just an ease thing rather than turn around and tag the bag, but the runner never plows into the defender to knock the ball lose and get the single.

      Pickles are another situation where the fielders stand in the way. You don’t really see any rundowns ending with the baserunner plowing into the defender to take 3rd base.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dale says:

      Actually, the rules are the same everywhere IIRC. It’s just that at 2B and 3B, the runner can’t overrun the bag, so when he bowls the fielder over he’s at risk of being put out on an “overslide”. At home, the run scores, so there’s no penalty for charging on the play. First base always has a “force” play on it, so there’s no need to block the bag.

      You constantly see players at other bags blocking the bag with a leg or foot when the other player is sliding headfirst. It’s just the special circumstances around the plate that makes the gameplay different.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. mike wants wins says:

    Quite simply, it adds nothing to the concepts of baseball to allow take out slides or collisisons at the plate. The baserunner should be trying to get to the base. The fielder should 100% not be allowed to put any part of his body in front of a base other than a glove holding a ball. The baserunner should take the shortest route, or a longer route that is not into the fielder (so sliding into home, you could slide on the outside of the baseline to and stretch your hand back, for example).

    There is nothing about these parts of the game that are inherently about hitting, running, fielding, or pitching, which is what baseball should be about.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Omar says:

    What really drives me nuts is when a player is trying to break up a double play at second. Most of the time they are not attempting to slide into second at all, they are sliding at the 2B/SS, not the bag, trying to take out their legs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      That’s part of the game though!

      I mean until a young player gets hurt. Then it will be an outrageous and barbaric act that should belong only in football!

      But that doesn’t happen anyway. It definitely didn’t already happen this year. And even if it did happen earlier this year, I’m sure there were articles all over the place calling for the end of take out slides.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stratobill says:

        The game of baseball is not unchangeable. Just because things have been done one way up til now doesn’t mean that they have to be done that way forever.

        The spitball used to be legal. Now it’s not. Batting without a helmet used to be standard. Now it’s not allowed. Baseball on Sundays was not allowed in many communities. Now it is. There used to be only 2 umpires for each major league game. Now there are four.
        Black players were barred from playing. Now they’re not.

        Baseball is not static, so to all of you who say, “that’s the way the game has always been played”, it’s time you found another justification.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Graham says:

        This whole “oh, NOW it’s a problem because it was somebody good?” nonsense is really irritating. Yes, watching Buster Posey get blown up on this play was jarring to the point that I’ve reconsidered my policy on this particular aspect of baseball. What’s wrong with that? It was a huge mistake on my part not to realize this sooner, but at least I’ve realized it now. Collisions at home plate simply do not belong in today’s game. They are an anachronism from a different era, and they must be re-evaluated. Baseball must continue to evolve.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Rucchin says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. Runners sliding into second can initiate contact and “take out” the infielder. If you ban collisions at home you have to ban take out slides at second. If your concern is injury, i would argue more middle infielders are hurt in collisions than catchers.

    It’s part of the game. Deal with it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • SF 55 for life says:

      “It’s part of the game. Deal with it.”

      He just explained that it shouldn’t be a part of the game. Your counter to that is that it should be allowed because its part of the game. Logic fail.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        It’s true, therefore it is true…..or something like that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rucchin says:

        Collisions are part of the game because contact is necessary in certain situations.

        The logic fail is saying collisions at home should be banned but saying nothing about collisions at second, when collisions at second cause more injuries and happen more often.

        Since collisions at second cause more injuries and happen more often, proponents of a no contact need to start there.

        Are you ready to ban collisions at second? If not there’s a logic fail on your part.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Yes, I would ban all collisions.

        1. How are they good for the game, long term?
        2. How is it intrinsic to the game?
        3. Momentary excitement in exchange for injuires to good players?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        No, Rucchin, contact is not necessary; and there’s no logic fail, because we were saying the same thing when Nishioka was wiped out. Contact is not necessary, it won’t damage the game at all to remove it — but it will reduce damage to players. Which is a good thing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Evan says:

      It would be impossible to make most plays at the plate if the catcher isn’t blocking home, that’s the natural place to receive the ball if the throw is close. Instead of removing blocking the plate, the game should not allow for intentionally violent collisions like Cousins initiated w/Posey.

      Why can’t the catcher be treated the same as a second baseman is when a player is stealing a bag or breaking up a double play? Some contact is allowed, but it is orders of magnitude less than what happened last night.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Just like 3rd base, base/plate in between your feet … drop the tag down quickly.

        How do middle infielders tag runners on stolen bases.

        Home plate does not need to be any different than any other base.

        We’ve just grown up with it being treated differently. So, that’s how we view it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      Why is it part of the game? How does it make the game better?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rucchin says:

        Collisions are necessary in certain situations. If not, catchers can’t block the plate and runners running to second have to be instructed to swerve off the base path or slide before the bag. Does that make the game better?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        There is nothing necessary about a catcher blocking home.

        And, runners should take the shortest route to a bag, their job is to get to the bag before a tag or a force out. That part is intrinsic to the game. Take out slides are not intrinsic to the game at all.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rucchin says:

        How would a complete ban work in practice?

        Buster would have to vacate home on that play? The runner woukd concede an out?
        If a runner can’t hit a catcher than a catcher can’t block the plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Correct, only your glove with a ball in it may be between a base and a runner. That’s the rule I’m suggesting. No blocking any base. No going out of the shortest path to take out a fielder. You can slide out of the shortest path to avoid a tag, but not toward the fielder.

        Pretty simple rules.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        And Rucchin, this is already the reason umps allow phantom tags at 2B, so that fielders can stay out of the basepath.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Are you attempting to imply that what Cousins did at home plate would be allowable at 2B? It’s not the same and attempting to imply that it is the same is wholly disingenuous.

      Players slide into 2B. They do not purposefully collide with the 2B or SS. Yes, they do force the 2B or SS to jump during or after they throw but if they attempt to do what Cousins did at home plate, the umpire would automatically call a DP and the base runner would probably be thrown out of the game.

      It’s not the same. Please don’t insult our intelligence by attempting to imply that it is.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Everett says:

        Players intentionally try to slide into the 2B/SS all the time, without even trying to go to the bag. The only reason they don’t usually get the 2B/SS is because they’ve learned how to jump out of the way and most of the time it works.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stratobill says:

        Players not only go out of their way to slide into infielders at 2nd base but they often try to crash into them with a rolling block, even if the infielder is 5feet away from the bag! Illegal as heck, but they get away with it because umpires and baseball officials are too timid to do anything about it!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      Easy for you to say, “Deal with it”. You and I are not the ones who have to deal with it. It’s the players and teams who have to deal with the consequences of collision related injuries.

      Batting without a helmet was the norm before world war II. Getting beaned by a pitch ruined the career of the great Mickey Cochrane back in the 30′s. Would you of told anyone advocating changing the rules to make batting helmets mandatory that it was part of the game, so deal with it? I’d really like to know.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Scott says:

    IMO all the outrage coming out now after Posey’s injury is annoying. There wasn’t this level of complaining after Santana’s injury, McCann’s had a few injuries in plate collisions (From the top of my head he had a sprained ankle and mild concussion or neck strain)

    To me the overreaction to this would be like the year that both Martin Gramatica and Bill Gramatica injured their legs celebrating field goals, if the NFL said you can’t celebrate after field goals or you get suspended.

    If you’ve always felt that way then more power to you, but people who’s opinions change Cause it’s Posey, that’s annoying.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • SF 55 for life says:

      so being ignorant to a certain subject and then changing your mind is annoying. Really?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott says:

        There’s no reason to be ignorant. Carlos Santana a more highly rated prospect than Posey going into last year, broke his leg in a collision. Brian McCann a 5 time All-Star *(though then he was only 3) got a concussion from a collision at the plate, Bobby Wilson got a concussion from a collision with Mark Teixeira, Estrada got a concussion from Darin Erstad. And then a year later Brett Hayes got something hurt from a collision with Nyjer Morgan.

        Those are just a few off the top of my head. I’m a Braves fan, for years the best or second best player on my team is a catcher, you know how McCann has relatively avoided injury as a catcher, if he isn’t making a play at the plate he’s not trying to block it. I mean if it’s been your opinion from the get go that there shouldn’t be blocking of the plate/collisions etc. then that’s fine by me. But it’s been relatively popular for people to discuss this now that Posey is hurt, I do not remember there being posts when Santana went down.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jeff says:

        And on that Texeira play he’d reached base after being hit by a pitch I think for the second time in that game. There is some physical play to baseball, and in the American league this is one of the few instances you can get back at the other team.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mat A says:

      There wouldn’t be an uproar if it had been Eli Whiteside, Brian Schneider or [insert backup catcher's name here]. And, if it were A.J. Pierzynski, people would be applauding the collision.

      +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tasintango says:

        I was just going to say that but you beat me to it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ppabich says:

        That is probably true, but when one of your more marketable players is injured the narrative is different. Part of the reason i believe there should be some sort of rule change, is because teams stand to lose too much money when something like this happens. There is too much money these days for stuff like this to continue.

        Not only should we protect the catcher, but obstruction rules should be changed for the runners health as well.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • reillocity says:

        I was scrolling down expecting to see someone make this point (particularly with regard to Whiteside), and I agree wholeheartedly.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • chuckb says:

        I think you’re right and I think that’s unfortunate. Dave’s right regardless of who was catching. The fact that it was a young superstar who was injured as a result brings more attention to the situation. That’s not fair but that’s the way it is. Unfortunately that will always be the case.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AKevin says:

        I’m going to disagree here.
        1) What made this such a big deal? Primarily Posey’s agent speaking up. If Eli Whiteside’s agent calls fro a rule change after such a play. We’re still talking about it today.
        2) If it had been a play where a collision was 100% clearly the only option for the runner, we’d not be talkking about it either. What we have, though, is a collision for collision’s sake. (Was that true in the Santana and McCann examples? I’m not being rheotorical-genuinely curious). That seems like a good time to talk about collisions at the plate.

        Assuming anyone’s opinion changed because it was Posey rules out a lot of other reasons people might view this differently. I know it’s more fun to assume everyone is a hypocrital douche -and you’re the only logical thinker in the world – but what’s fun isn’t always the most rational way to look at things.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Note: this is not a logical argument. It is, in fact, nothing the least like a logical argument. As such, even if true, it’s functionally irrelevant.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. hunterfan says:

    Does Dave write this article if it was Rod Barajas who was injured blocking the plate?

    Maybe he does, but I dunno. I just find it interesting that apparently everything was well and good with catchers blocking the plate until it was Posey who was hurt, and then we have a bunch of articles (not just from Dave, obviously) that express their outrage.

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      It’s possible it has something to do with it.

      The NFL wasn’t all over concussions when it was just linemen experiencing them. But when the best QBs started missing games due to concussions, more attention was given to them.

      Does it matter if it is Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, instead of Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, etc?

      Granted high profile players are going to bring more attention to the situation. IMO, the situations of Santana and Posey are that highly talented young players could possibly have careers ended on plays that don’t “have to happen”.

      It often takes a high profile situation to draw enough attention to make change. In most other areas of life, the race of the victim, is what matters most … especially in child deaths/crimes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DKlein says:

        And if often takes it happening a couple times in a short amount of time for real concerns to start to be voiced. If One start athlete has this happen every 10 years no one would actually be talking about it. It is the combination of multiple injuries that raises serious consideration of the topic.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BlackOps says:

      They may have agreed with this opinion before, but I have the agree that the name of the catcher in question was what set off this wave of articles.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dale says:

      No, because Rod Barajas would never block the plate.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. thegeniusking says:

    Mularkey, a collision at the plate is one of the best things in baseball. I’m sure Posey himself wouldn’t want the rule changed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hairball says:

      Well, his agent works for him, and his agent has requested a rule change from MLB.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mitch says:

        Yes, his agent works for him.

        But he also makes money off of him and would protect him with kid gloves if it meant he gets paid more.

        Just because his agent wrote a letter doesn’t mean he necessarily did it at Posey’s request.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TK says:

        “Just because his agent wrote a letter doesn’t mean he necessarily did it at Posey’s request.”

        Yes it does.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Is this sarcasm? What makes it the best? The fact that a runner with a 90, 180, or 270 foot head start is bearing down on a player as if he was an armadillo in the middle of the interstate?

      What’s great about that? The catcher’s basically defenseless there. At least in football you generally have 2 people running toward one another so that each has a fair chance. The catcher’s a sitting duck just waiting to be steamrolled.

      Maybe you should go stand by the highway and get your rocks off watching animals get run over also.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • thegeniusking says:

        Yeah, and I’m pretty sure most catchers are prepared for that collision. I mean, it’s something they’ve been doing basically all their life. This isn’t a new thing. Anyone who has ever wanted to be a catcher, you live for that moment, that’s why you’re a catcher. If Posey wasn’t such an “all american” that was some sort of great white hope for people, this wouldn’t even be brought up.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott says:

        A few points, in some cases a catcher is defenseless. Posey was cause for some reason or another he thought that there wouldn’t be a collision, not sure why considering he went from in front of the plate to being in the basepath, Santana’s was a freak injury, guy slid in and hit him where things don’t move much. McCann’s concussion was on a play similar to Posey’s where he had the ball in front of the plate and reached back to tag Victorino. To counter that the catcher is hardly defenseless all the time, as long as the ball and the runner aren’t arriving at the same time you can make yourself into a tight little wall, and you have a lot more gear on then the baserunner, also if you really have enough time you can run up the baseline and tag the runner etc. It’s always unfortunate to see a guy go down, but It’s something I can’t imagine going away. This is why if I have a good catcher I tell him to not worry about letting a run score you’ll score plenty more runs than the one or 2 runs a year you save by blocking the plate

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. davecameronwrongagain says:

    Time to change the sport to slow pitch softball. That’ll get rid of all those pitchers getting arm injuries

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      They probably said the same thing when fielders started using gloves and batters started wearing helmets.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      Why do you post this? What about Dave’s post implies that he fundamentally wants to change what the sport is about? Nothing about blocking a base in inherent to the game itself.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • siggian says:

      Actually, in my slopitch league, the runner is out if they touch home. They need to cross a line beside home to score. The catcher just needs to have possession of the ball while touching home.

      I’m not advocating that for baseball, but it at least greatly reduces the chance of collisions at home.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      Good point! Way to make your point more cogent by hiding behind some anonymous, idiotic name.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Bgaw says:

    I disagree with Dave here (and don’t vilify me for disagreement- yes, I read the article.)

    How many times is there a play at the plate in a given season? And how many times does that play result in an injury for the catcher? I don’t think there’s any data on this subject, but my guess is there aren’t too many. It’s unfortunate when that kind of thing happens, and I feel bad for guys like Posey when they get hurt, but injuries to catchers because of a home plate collision is not a rampant epidemic. By instituting a rule against collisions, you save (maybe) a handful of injuries over the course of a decade.

    In turn, you eliminate one of the most exciting plays in baseball. Very few plays in baseball are as intense as a close play at the plate, and if a collision happens to be involved… well, that doesn’t exactly dissipate the entertainment. A no-contact rule will inherently lower the number of plays at the plate, and in my opinion, remove some of the enjoyment from the game.

    Don’t let a freak injury or two rile everyone up and institute a rule that does more harm than good.

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      That’s a fair argument.

      Why then, not allow runners to run over a 1B, and require him to hold onto the ball? It would be exciting. I’m cool with your logic being exciting=good, but where to draw the line on collisions, that’s the question.

      For those arguing in favor of this particular kind of collision, are you in favor of increasing collisions, so we have even more excitement?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rucchin says:

        First baseman don’t block the bag. That’s the logic for not running him over.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Why not? If it is good for a catcher to do it, why not a 1B? That’s the question….

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Aren’t there obvious differences between home plate and first base that make the two incomparable? Do they need to be spelled out?

        Not trying to be rude here, it just seems self-evident to me how the collisions-only-at-home thing came to be. It wasn’t devised as some exciting gimmick.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Peter Gentleman says:

        ….Because a play at 1B is always a force play?

        +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Not sure what they are? You can run past first base. The runner is trying to avoid being out. The fielder is trynig to get the runner out. Other than one is worth a run, and one allows you to be on 1B, I’m not sure waht those obvious differences are.

        To me, there is just nothing intrinsicly basebally to collisions.

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        It’s not a matter of collisions being inherent to the game. It’s a matter of them naturally arising more often at home plate rather than 1st or any other base.

        I don’t really have a dog in the rule change fight.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mitch says:

        Because reaching first base doesn’t score a run. Runs are the name of the game, and if you have to get physical to score that run and win the game, you do what you can legally to score.

        If collision plays are removed from the game, there would be a significant drop in runs scored per game, as essentially only a hit would safely score a run.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott says:

        Why would a 1B block 1B? The reason catchers do it is they have leg protectors is someone tries to step on them and chest protectors if someone hits them in the chest.

        Are you also opposed to take out slides into second? I mean I could care less if collisions went away, I just don’t think there is a compelling argument for it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Mitch: read the rest of the thread. If collision plays were removed from the game, it would in part be by forbidding catchers to block the plate, which would allow more runs to score.

        My guess is, the two effects would largely cancel each other out, and the result would be very little difference in scoring.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      By instituting a rule against collisions, you save (maybe) a handful of injuries over the course of a decade.

      IMHO, the more we learn about concussions in baseball, the more will realize just how common one is after a collision at home plate.

      I freely admit that I absolutely love collisions at home plate from an entertainment standpoint. Pudge blocking the plate in 93 is a great moment. Ray Lankford absolutely blowing up Darren Daulton is one of my personal favs.

      But, at the end of the day, I do think that we have to take measures to eliminate unnecessary risks in the sport. Most times, the catcher is defenseless in the regard that they are watching the ball while the runner is bearing down on them. Catchers get absolutely blasted lots of times. They don’t appear injured, but a concussion could be very real. They also “don;t show it” (and if they did, we’d mock them … because y’know we’re so tough, and they do get paid millions … so suck it, right?)

      I think we will find out that concussions in baseball may be even more harmful due to the reliance on timing and eyesight.

      How will a “no contact rule” eliminate plays at the plate? There’s a no contact rule at 3rd and at 2nd, and runners still aggressively take bases and we have close plays all the time.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Caleb W says:

      I agree with Bgaw on this one. On the spectrum of physical engagement that goes from fighting to tennis (yang and yin, if you will), baseball lies in the middle. The mano a mano competition is mediated by a whole set of fascinating sub-games and rules (with force outs and collisions at the two extremes). IMHO, the diversity of the types of plays that can occur in baseball gives it a vitality that separates it from all other sports. Having this one exception, this one avenue for violence in the sport makes it a better game.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Fair enough. We don’t agree on that conclusion, but fair enough.

        Just curious, if today it was legal to run over a guy in rundown, would you be cool keeping that legal? If so, are you cool with allowing it now, when it isn’t really allowed?

        Are there other exceptions to non-violence you are cool with, or is this just the one exception.

        Againg, I’m cool with the distinction, and of all the posts defending this type of play, your’s is probably the most cogent.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rucchin says:

        First baseman could block first. I guess the prospect of fifteen or so collisions a game, the fact that it’s a force play and it wont stop a run from scoring diminsh its value.

        (i know it’s not really a “force play” but you know what im saying)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Caleb W says:

        Seems like emotions are running high. That’s a good thing…people are passionate.

        MWW, I’m not sure if this answers your questions, but I am pretty vehemently against the range of “take-out” slides that are currently being allowed by umpires, for example. (I would have considered the Nishioka incident a dirty slide since he was nowhere near the bag.)

        It isn’t just a general conservatist view that nothing should change in baseball. I think the game has come a long way and undergone a lot of changes to become the complex, beautiful game it is today, but I think there is still room for improvement. The safety balance is definitely a challenge.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Again, nice post. And yes, I’m a tad passionate on this one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ed says:

      I’d rather watch Santana and Posey play full seasons for several years than see a couple guys plow into each other for a couple seconds. The point is home shouldn’t be treated any different than any other base. You cant give the SS a shoulder check when you steal second… Which is basically the same thing as a collision at the plate on sac fly.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mitch says:

        But home is different than any other base. You score a run by reaching it, making it much more important than another base.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      It doesn’t happen that often because, wisely, most runners choose to slide into home rather than steamroll the catcher. They know they might get hurt as well and are smarter about their base running.

      I fail to see how allowing the runner to barrel over the catcher makes the play more exciting. Isn’t the play just as exciting if the runner slides into home and the catcher sprawls across the plate to attempt to tag him out? That play loses no excitement.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DKlein says:

      I am sure if MLB looked into this they have our could find numbers on how often plays at the plate take place. I think it would be in the best interest of MLB to just take a look at the number of times these collisions happen in a season and the amount/severity of the injuries. If the numbers show an increase or a high enough amount of times it happens it would behoove MLB to consider possibilities to limit/lower these situations. If it shows a low number with a low probability of injury then they can show the statistics and i think everyone would be alright with that. I believe that player safety needs to be considered part of the game as much as collisions at the plate. Look at the numbers, see what they tell us, and make a decision based on that. No overaction to a single play just a collection of information to make an intelligent decision.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 4i-8 says:

      I’m not sure how an attempted hook slide versus bowling over the catcher is any less dramatic or exciting.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gomez says:

      “How many times is there a play at the plate in a given season?”

      If we can agree that there aren’t that many, then you just undercut your own argument. If anything, even if we assume passing such a rule is at all damaging, it couldn’t possibly harm the game all that much since the number of instances it could impact are minimal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. aaron says:

    Disagree big time….watch all the fans jump to their feet when Posey gets hit…and i guarantee as soon as anyone saw the article about the collision on mlb.com the first thing they did was jump to watch the video. It’s an exciting play, like it or not, baseball needs all the excitement it can get to attract a wider audience…and it’s not like a season ending injury is a common occurence on a collision.

    I have not heard any catchers complaining about the rule either, they know they are going to get railroaded once in a while, and as kevin millar might say, if you dont want to get hit, strap on some knickers and go play golf

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      I love it when someone tries to support their case by saying, “I have not heard any (fill in the blank) complaining about it”. What a totally ridiculous statement that is!

      Are we to believe that because YOU haven’t heard any catchers complain about the rule that means no catchers are complaining about it? What, do all catchers call you up when they want to complain about rules. Or do you stick your head out the window once an hour to see if you can hear any catchers complaining about rules?

      By the way tough guy, if I see you walking down the street without your knickers does that mean it’s okay for me to flatten you on the sidewalk? Just asking…..

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • aaron says:

        What? I’m not making a case to you dicklips, im giving my observations and opinions…that is what a discussion forum is about, isn’t it?

        You are talking about changing a rule to protect catchers. It is dead obvious that me saying “I” have not heard any catchers complaining about it means that (as a person who follows the sport) I’m unaware of any of them on record in the media saying the rule should be changed. Of course if there were any reports like that someone could correct me, not make that retarded literal deuschy interpretation you made.

        I have no idea what that last sentence means. I don’t pretend (unlike you apparently) to be tough shit on anonymous internet message boards.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      Your own words : if you dont want to get hit, strap on some knickers and go play golf.

      So you sit there in your basement suggesting that there’s something unmanly, perhaps even cowardly about not wanting to get crushed by
      a 200+ pound athlete running into you at full speed while you are unprotected. How brave you are, tough guy, telling REAL athletes that they’re wimps who need to choose another sport. You’re the one who’s hiding behind the anomynity of the internet, not me.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Ace says:

    Blocking 1B, 2B or 3B is not the same as blocking the plate. A team doesn’t get a run on the scoreboard for touching any of those bags. The value of touching home plate = 1 run. If the value isn’t the same, then there is an obvious reason why the same rules don’t apply.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • odditie says:

      Exactly…I didn’t read every comment, but a lot of comments try to compare home with the rest of the bases and it is not the same. Home plate isn’t shaped the same, it isn’t scored the same and it doesn’t have the same rules in place.

      To me the better rule to adjust would the plays at 2nd where a player is forced to go to a bag while the runner is trying to sweep their legs out from under them. At least the catcher is for the most part stationary and not looking to make a throw to another bag…if they put themselves in the way prior to receiving the ball it is clearly at their own risk since they are in the same boat as the fielder at second at that point.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Different shape of base = different rules applied to base.

        This is logic I can get behind…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        Also he failed to mention that it is referred to as a “plate” rather than a “base”. This only strengthens his argument I imagine…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • odditie says:

        It was just to illustrate a point, the shape has nothing to do with it having a need for separate rules…dip sh*t

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      Amazing. You produce three photos, but cannot be troubled to produce a fourth – a mere second before you first – where Posey’s foot is very obviously between Cousins and the plate.

      I wonder if you have an agenda here.

      Anyone can go watch the video on Posey’s MLB player page, stop it at 10 seconds, and see what you’re up to.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bob says:

        Based on the point in the video you’re talking about, it looks to me like the foot was on corner of the right handed batter’s box closest to right field. So not “very obviously” between Cousins and the plate, although I catch your drift. But really – regardless of where exactly his foot was, physically trying to pop the ball out of a guys glove through use of a full speed shoulder check is more than a little outdated, and if Posey was holding the ball and sitting on the plate I’d say the same thing. A rule change here is easy: simply permit umpires to call out a player who intentionally tackles another player to knock the ball out.

        As for the folks talking about second base being similarly dangerous, it’s not – the neighborhood rule and the fact that hard slides tend not to result in concussions are very significant differences in my mind. Moreover, if the rules on interference were actually enforced properly, then the risk that remains for a fielder at second base would be greatly reduced.

        That being said, within the current rules, it was a clean hit and a big time hustle play by Cousins for his team. But just because the hit was clean doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong with the rules in their current state. This play needs to be removed from the game before there is a tragic injury for no good reason.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe D says:

      Scott Cousins ought to be ashamed of himself for not using his Plasticman abilities to make himself paper-thin.

      Posey’s body is obviously in the route of the white line in two of the three photos that are desperately trying to make people believe otherwise. That, to me, is fantastic.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • cthabeerman says:

      It’s also important to note that in all three photos, Cousins’s feet are on the baseline, i.e. where he’s supposed to be running in the first place. Pretty sure the baseline leads directly to home plate.

      I’m all for player safety, and I’m okay with a rule change. But the insinuation that Cousins did anything wrong is plainly stupid.

      -C

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Scott says:

      I think cousins did Posey a favor, if he didn’t turn his body at the last moment they would have had a head to head collision most likely. Clean play

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Phillies305 says:

    I love how everyone is suddenly up in arms. Give me a break, it’s part of baseball. The goal is to reach base/home plate. If you don’t want to get hit, don’t stand there. Simple as that. When did everyone turn into giant vaginas?

    -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      When batters started wearing helmets?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark says:

        Seriously, what a bunch of vaginas. Just stand there and take your fractured skull like a man, it’s part of the game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Caleb W says:

      Last I checked, vaginas were pretty badass…that’s where you and every other macho came from, you know.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kat says:

      It’s possible to have your distaste for an argument on record without resorting to sweeping misogynistic slurs of players and posters alike, as if only women would want to avoid season-ending injuries in a non-contact sport.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • R says:

      He did stand there and he took the hit and now, he is unnecessarily out for the season. Oh, and Cousins was obviously trying to dislodge the ball. That’s what people are talking about. Changing the rule, so this doesn’t happen again, you idiot. It has nothing to do with being a p*ssy or not. This isn’t football.

      It is not right to have an unprotected player, who is concentrating on catching a ball and is not even looking at what is coming at him, just stand there and get barreled over by another player coming at him with a running start, full steam.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      When you turned into a misogynist.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • shthar says:

      I think it was 1989.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Evan says:

    If it were Humberto Quintero who got hurt, this article wouldn’t have been written.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mark says:

      So what? It doesn’t make Dave any less correct.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Evan says:

        Sure it does. A prominent, darling of blog-dom type player gets hurt in a “clean” manner, and everyone is up in arms. I’ve never heard of anyone argue that home plate collisions need to be barred or anything like that. It took someone like Posey to get hurt in order for it to happen.

        This argument is a cousin of the “we need to replace umpires with computers” argument. These guys love baseball, but sure would like to change a lot of what it entails

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        What is intrinsically basebally about home plate collisions?

        I’ve heard lots of people say collisions should be banned, so I guess our anecdotes are even.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • reillocity says:

      Humberto Quintero would have picked the baserunner off before said collision were to happen, so he’s a poor object for your hypothetical.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. lex logan says:

    Agree completely. Baseball is not a contact sport; it is the highest skill major sport, requiring the longest apprenticeship to master. Collisions add nothing. If umpires called every runner safe who was blocked off the plate, and every one out who deliberately slam into the catcher, collisions would vanish. The “phantom force-out” at second and the rule allowing a player to over-run first base already reduce injuries; banning home-plate collisions and takeout slides (automatic double play if the player slides toward the fielder rather than the bag) is long overdue.

    I recall reading that up until the 50′s or so, collisions were not allowed, but that umpires at some point changed the way they interpreted the interference rules. However, the current rules as written appear to allow blocking as long as the catcher has the ball or is in position to receive a throw.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Joe Braga says:

    What high school leagues allow contact with the catcher?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. armforces13 says:

    Theres a fundamental difference between home plate and the rest of the bases that everyone is missing… the ability to touch home plate and run through it.

    At any other base on a tag play, the runner slides so that he stops and remains on the base. At home, if Posey isn’t blocking the plate the runner can keep running at him full speed and step on the plate.

    If you ban blocking the plate and collisions, you will have catchers trying to tag runners who no longer have an incentive to slide. Running past a catcher’s outstretched arms at full speed while they try to tag you would cause wrist, shoulder, and elbow injuries.

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ace says:

      You can run through 1B and the potential for injury you speak of specifically is pertinent there. I wonder how many 1B arm injuries have been racked up over the last decade opposed to catching injuries due to collisions.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike savino says:

        Dude has a point. Home plate is very different than first because of running through a non-force out situation.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      Bingo.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ppabich says:

      I’m sure most people don’t have a problem with catchers blocking the plate when they have the ball secured. the problem is, as this play shows, Posey never had possession of the ball, yet because he is in the process of receiving the ball, he is allowed to stand in front of the plate. That should be the change.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • baty says:

      It’s totally true, that strange injuries might always occur from time to time at home plate because of the nature the base represents. It’s almost like you’d have to make sliding at home required, if the ball approaches simultaneously, otherwise the runner would be called out… kind of a weird judgement call to make.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • srriley84 says:

      Good point. Homeplate is unique in that you “run” through it on a tag play. No other base allows you to do that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • baty says:

      If I’m a runner approaching home plate (as a catcher isn’t allowed to block my path with any part of his body), as a throw comes in to a catcher standing in front of home, I’m coming in head first way to the right of the bag reaching as far in with my left hand as possible.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Sarah Blankenship says:

    Fangraphs will not rest until an MLB game includes a female catcher breaking a tie with a female runner at home plate with a ‘best-two-out-of-three pattycake competition.’ (don’t torch you bras, boys, it’s just a joke). If the Giants want Posey to avoid this kind of injury, they should have him stand to the side of the line and make a tag at the barreling-toward-home runner from the side. That, or he can play 1B or some other position and they can find some cannon fodder to sit behind the plate and absorb this particular risk of catastrophic collision.

    Even without intentional collisions by baserunners, catcher’s a tough, physical position, and I’d rather have Posey’s bat in my lineup every day and pay the defensive cost associated with sliding him over to 1B, even if it means losing his arm and glove from behind the plate. To me that’s better than keeping him back there and risking cutting his career short (knee problems, anyone?) due to ALL the rigors of the position, especially as an NL franchise. Look at Mauer…not sure there’s proof but I’d bet his current leg issue is not completely independent of the fact that he’s a catcher. When a guy swings a stick like those two do, you’ve got a rare enough asset that I would rather procure a strong defensive catcher and move my AS-caliber bat to somewhere safer on the field. Understand some guys are going to insist on playing C anyway, but if either or both of Posey or Mauer ends up playing less than 15 years of baseball, it will be a tragedy for all fans of the sport.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. baty says:

    It is interesting when an issue gets pushed into the forefront because a tremendous player falls victim to an accident, but sometimes, that’s the motivation needed to make a change. I like legal forms of interference/distraction as a part of baseball, but contact driven interference has always seemed out of place.

    To take a hit, that could be the equivalent of a wide-reciever getting nailed center field by a DB heading in full force is pointless in baseball, unless you have the catcher padded up like a goalie. Pretty weird stuff…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Mark Tepen says:

    When were players ever allowed to run over catchers in high school?

    A Rod was villified because what he did was against the rules.

    Fact checking is a must with articles as bad as this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      By that logic we should never change any rules. Against the rules = bad. Legal (regardless of whether or not it should be) = good.

      And most comments about A Rod were about what a “pansy” or some synonymous term he was, not that he did something against the rules.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. Nyger Morgan says:

    Clean play, you wimps

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Anybody remember that old NES Game Base Wars? Let’s do that instead! Every base you want to take is armed combat to the death! The guy armed with a howitzer can bunt a home run as long as he takes out enough dudes!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Antonio Bananas says:

    Clean play, Buster wasn’t set up properly to take a hit. You don’t want your feet behind you, that’s why he broke his ankle. I don’t remember who I saw in a video, but they pointed that out a lot. I know you can say “how can he do that on the fly?” Well, he’s a professional, he’s paid to do that. Infielders and outfielders and batters and pitchers can react to things on the fly instinctively, so had he trained more for this sort of thing, he’d be okay.

    The catching position is brutal, so don’t put your bats there. Turn them into outfielders. Catchers should be like Molina.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • STRATOBILL says:

      There’s a bumper sticker I like that says, “If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the dang sidewalk!!”

      I’d hate to be on the sidewalk when Scott Cousins is driving.

      If you watch the play, you can see that Cousins had a clear path to home plate and that he chose to go OUT OF HIS WAY to crash into Posey. How you can possibly try to say that it is Posey’s fault that he got injured is beyond me. A good runner could easily have slid in foul territory and touch home plate with his toe or his hand as he slid by. Doing that would of put several feet between him and Posey, making it very difficult to be tagged out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mitch says:

        By choosing to hook slide in that situation, he lower his chance of scoring the run, as the ball was going to beat him to the plate. He chose the other, more higher probable option of knocking the ball loose. There isn’t enough time for him to see that Posey doesn’t catch the ball, but it is a calculated gamble with his choice and it paid off. He scored the run.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. taite says:

    I don’t see how you can say with a straight face that excitement is more important than someone’s physical well-being.

    look at this: http://30fps.mocksession.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/x2011-May-26-2-14-0.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3foKgi05D0.jpg

    I was at the game where Santana got hurt and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • shthar says:

      Just if you want to make some $ off of sports.

      Nascar, boxing, oh wait, boxings not enuf, now we need the octo-cage or whatever.

      People want to see something with danger.

      If you don’t, turn it off.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. Don R. Party says:

    So what’s the proposed penalty for causing a home plate collision? 10 game suspension & a $50K fine? Because if it comes down to a play at the plate in a must-win game, I’ll gladly take that penalty for barreling over the catcher in order for a shot at securing the winning run and/or keeping my season alive. Or is the penalty only a penalty if the catcher is an all-star and gets injured? I think it’s a fallacy to assert that banning this type of play would make it disappear from the game. I mean, it’s pretty freakin’ rare as it is, right?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      Suggested penalties:

      1. If you are a fielder and you block the a base with anything other than your hand holding the ball, the runner gets the base, plus all runners advance one more base.

      2. If you are a runner and try to cause a collision with a player not blocking a base, you are out at the moment of contact.

      3. If the play impedes a throw as a result of the collision, the one other runner may be called out (this one needs more thought).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • philosofool says:

      The batter is out at home?

      If causing a collision at the plate hurts run scoring, players will stop.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Shane says:

      I think the penalty would probably be that they’re out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Phillies305 says:

    Oh no someone got injured WAAAAA WAAAAAA let’s just change the rule so that no one gets hurt!!!! We are human beings not animals!!! WAAAA WAAAA

    -15 Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. James says:

    I wonder what role UBR had in Cousins’ aggressiveness.

    +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Matt says:

    Huge Giants fan here – I don’t think the rule needs to be changed at all, I just think we need to get Posey out from behind the plate!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. Llewdor says:

    I thought you were allowed to run over fielders at the other bases. That’s how take-out slides work at 2B. The problem with A-Rod was that he struck Arroyo with his hand – if Arroyo had been standing on the line A-Rod would have been allowed to barrel into him.

    My bigger complaint is that catchers are allowed to block the plate even before they have the ball, in which case running into them should result in the runner automatically being given the run.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. Zeebo says:

    Blocking the plate can definitely work. Ever tried sliding into a catcher blocking the plate? You don’t get to the plate. If a runner is going to beat the throw by a step, and the catcher blocks the plate well, and the runner tries to slide through or around him, the catcher can turn a run into an out. That’s why runners bowl over catchers–it can be a more effective alternative than trying to slide around or through.

    This former high school/current mens league catcher has no problem with collisions. Home plate is not just any other base. It should be harder to reach home than other bases, and runners should be allowed to fight harder to get there. I could understand a rule prohibiting runners from directly targeting a catcher’s head, but otherwise, I see no need to change. Injuries happen. It’s part of playing the position, and the game has been just fine, thanks, with this in the game. Posey got lit up because he was poorly positioned to take the hit. Let’s not change the rules because of it. Guys can step out of the baseline if they don’t want to get hit. Ramon Hernandez did that a lot in Baltimore (and was derided for it). Guys can concede runs if they want to.

    Plus, it’s a damned exciting play. Baseball can be a pretty physical game sometimes, and I don’t see why it should be otherwise.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  42. Adam says:

    Most catchers are big-ish, burly-ish (Posey himself has thighs the size of tree trunks) – so, they’re usually the kind of guy who might do well in a collision. And collisions at the plate are part of bball tradition – one of the last parts of the pastime that might have made George Carlin happy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_yq4L3M_I).

    Thing of it is, with plays at the plate, catchers need to keep their eye on the ball coming in – they can’t see the runner coming and set themselves. Posey’s injury looks to me for example the result of his feet being out of position to brace himself for the collision. So, I’d have to say – I’m feelin the rule change (ie as Dave said, enforce “no obstruction of the plate” on catchers, and automatic out of the baserunner makes more than incidental contact on the catcher).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. garrymaddox says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dave Cameron. Collisions like Cousins-Posey last night should be eliminated.

    However, did Cousins actually make a legal play by the rule book? I looked over the rules governing runners at MLB.com and didn’t see a rule that explicitly bans a runner (who is not the batter) from interfering with a fielder in cases other than ground-ball double-plays. That points towards Cousins’ actions being legal.

    Still, if he had done the same thing at third base to the third baseman, he would have been called out, despite the facts that (1) there is no rule saying that he can’t and (2) no distinction is made in the rule book between collisions at home and collisions at other bases.

    Maybe I missed something here. I certainly may have overlooked the relevant rule/exception/distinction, and I may just be failing to understand something. But it seems like:

    (A) The rule book does not prohibit a runner like Cousins from colliding at home plate with the catcher with the intent to dislodge the ball.

    (B) The rule book also does not prohibit a runner like Cousins from colliding at any other with any other position player with the intent to dislodge the ball.

    However, in practice, the runner in scenario (A) will not be called out for interference while the runner in scenario (B) would be called out for interference. The difference seems to be cultural, not based on the rule book.

    I also feel the need to point out that I don’t think Cousins did anything wrong: he did exactly what he should have, given his instruction across all levels of baseball and the way that baseball’s rules have been enforced for decades.

    I’m just trying to make a more wonkish point:

    Runners initiating collisions at the plate with the intent of dislodging the ball have not committed interference according to the rule book and in practice are not called out for interference. Runners initiating collisions at bases other than home plate with the intent of dislodging the ball have not committed interference according to the rule book but in practice are called out for interference. The rule book does not correspond to the way the rule is employed in practice. The rule book needs to be updated to reflect the way the rule is employed in practice or the way the rule is employed in practice needs to be changed to reflect the rule book. Or both, but certainly not neither.

    And I would prefer if the rule book and the way the rule is employed in practice were changed to eliminate these collisions, because I hate them.

    Now, if one of you would be so kind as to provide a link to the part of the rule book that I overlooked which renders everything I just wrote useless, that would be great. Thanks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  44. adohaj says:

    Collisions usually only happen in very high leverage situations like extra innings or close playoff games. It isn’t that big of an issue. I’d say a collision at home plate is one of the most exciting plays in all of sports. Why would we rid baseball of that? How many catchers suffer a time loss injury due to a collision at the plate every year? One or two at most probably. The viewpoints in this article seem more like an overreaction than anything.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  45. Shane says:

    Maybe adopt rules similar to second base? If you’re blocking the plate, you get rolled. If not, the runner must slide through the plate only. Like a double play, if your in the way, your gonna be in danger of a slide.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  46. David says:

    Can someone point me to the article on Fangraphs asking for the removal of home plate collisions after what happened to Carlos Santana last year?

    Or does it not matter because he plays for a team no one cares about?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  47. AdamLaz says:

    Baseball is the only sport where it’s legal to run over a defenseless player. That said, as of today the only option for the baserunner if the plate is blocked is to run through the catcher. Therefore, a rule change is necessary. If a catcher blocks the plate, the runner is awarded the base.

    Lastly, Posey was certainly NOT blocking the plate on this particular play. I’ve watched from the second both players came into view and paused it every couple of steps Cousins took. Posey initially set up with his left foot lined up up with the inside corner of the plate. Plate is completely accessible to Cousins. When he received the ball, he stepped closer toward the 2B position. At no point was Posey blocking the plate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AdamLaz says:

      Secondly, Cousins has admitted that the reason he ran into Posey was to dislodge the ball. Period. And that’s no fault of his own, he was playing hard nose baseball, by the league accepted rules. But to say he ran through Posey b/c he didn’t have access to the plate is foolhearty. He ran into him b/c he’s the 25th man on the 25 man roster, a .160 hitter, and he failed to get down a bunt in a crucial situation 4 minutes prior. The last thing he was going to do was get thrown out at home by 5 ft in the 12th inning, so his only option was to dislodge the ball. Again, this is an MLB problem, not a Scott Cousins or Buster Posey problem.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      You can say that, but anyone who watches the video is able to confirm that you are mistaken. Cousins has to make his choice well before the last second when Posey moves his leg. Until that time, the plate is accessible to Cousins only if he slides around the leg.

      He could have done that, absolutely. But assuming the catcher makes the catch, he’s out every time. So the better choice is to collide.

      So the claim isn’t that a collision was unavoidable because Posey was in the way. The claim is that a collision was the only reasonable choice given the timing of the throw and Posey’s positioning during Cousins’ approach.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • A. Nonymaus says:

        I watched the video and I see Posey taking the throw on his knees in fair territory, and not obstructing the plate. He leans into the baseline, but if Cousins slides, Posey doesn’t touch him. Except, perhaps, with his glove, which is why Cousins made the perfectly legal play to run slightly outside the baseline, plow into Buster, and perhaps jar the ball loose.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        You need to be watching before Posey receives the throw, when Cousins actually has to make his decision. If you go to Posey’s player page on MLBcom, the link to the video is there. Pause at 10 seconds to see what I’m talking about.

        I agree that if you begin the analysis at the time of impact, Posey is in the clear. But it isn’t a good idea to evaluate Cousins’ decision after he made it, when things had changed too quickly for him to react.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Cousins has to make his choice well before the last second when Posey moves his leg.

        We’re talking about elite athletes that decide to swing or not in a fraction of a second, or decide whether to pull up or crash into the wall.

        Let’s not act like they’re slow minded-reacting people.

        He made his decision early, as evident, by how he swung his arms down and brought them up into Posey’s chest level. He could have easily just dove headfirst into home with his left hand extended all “Dan Gladden Style”. He could have made that decision at the last possible second as well. This isn;t you or I trying to decide whether to slide in softball.

        Again, these guys decide to swing or not in a fraction of a second.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  48. Zeebo says:

    Collisions at the plate in high school, American Legion, etc. are not illegal. You have to slide into home, so a full bowl-over is not legal, but collisions occur regardless. Sometimes the umpire makes the right call (out, and potentially out of the game), sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they’ll let a half-slide half-collision go. But if you think that just because the rules say “slide” that a high school catcher would have not dealt with collisions, you played in much gentler leagues than I did.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  49. CircleChange11 says:

    Regardless of whether we’re talking NHL, NFL, NBA, or NHL, any measure to increase safety cand be viewed as making the sport more wimpy.

    Growing up watching the NBA any layup was greeted with a takeout foul. Now they’re flagrant.

    NFL has expanded rules regarding leading with the helmet and horsecollars and driving QBs into the ground.

    NHL has revamped essentially all of their hits.

    The idea is to increase safety and allow the skills to thrive while limiting the effectiveness of goon tactics.

    In it’s early stages, baseball was a very dirty sport, where spiking and brushbacks were tactics used to injure or intimidate the good players of other teams. Much like the NBA’s Bad Boys and the Knicks.

    Other safety measures such as batting helmets, no spiking, limiting brushbacks, padded outfield walls, etc serve to keep the talent on the field. Given how much teams invest in the skill players, it’s a reasonable situation.

    It’s easy for us to say “put them in skirts”, just like we say of other sports. But that’s not really fair.

    In this specific situation, something to prohibit blocking of the plate and/or plowing the catcher eliminates a high risk play, while still having exciting plays at the plate. In that regard it’s no different than batting helmets, eliminating spikes high slides, nemurous brushbacks, etc.

    It’s all no different than what other sports have done to remove goonery and thuggery from the game, and the emphasis being on the skill of the players and the stars remaining on the field.

    We see it in all sports and I think it is the direct result of the increasing player salaries and importance of the stars to team success.

    Baseball will still be baseball with increased safety measures, just like football is still football without defenders being allowed to do anything they want. To me, it’s not that big of a deal.

    I played baseball in college and blocked the plate as a pitcher and had the spike marks, busted lip, and player respect to show for it, so it would be very easy to talk macho about it, and explain that it’s a man’s game. But realistically, it’s a situation that has a good alternative.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      The alternative is “good” only for a specific set of values that you should not presume are shared by all or even most baseball fans. This particular issue isn’t very important to me, but positions contrary to yours are as defensible as your own.

      You lean on characterizations of aggressive play in other sports as “thuggery” and “goonery” presumably because it’s not easy to put together an argument against physicality in sports that doesn’t amount to “Well, I never!”.

      The view of violence as barbaric is implicit in just about every comment made by those opposed to plays like these – yours included. I don’t have a problem with what you like or what the next guy does. But I don’t care much for either of you dressing up your preferences in the cloth of objectivity as a means of suggesting that other preferences are inferior (by way of being less reasonable). To be clear, violence in sport isn’t any more barbaric than cooking with fire.

      The observations about injuries are all fair, of course, but they’re also already known to everyone involved. Particularly when the conversation is kicked off by an injury, we all pretty well understand that those things can and do happen.

      So what beyond those observations is there to add? “It’s not necessary and I don’t like it” seems to be about all, for someone from your perspective. Well, few things are necessary – and fair enough. But that doesn’t convince me that a change is needed.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Z says:

        I feel like we did not read the same comment. Where did he say opposing opinions are indefensible? I don’t think he implied that physicality should be eliminated or that it is inherently barbaric, just that it sometimes unnecessary.

        He is just stating his opinion using his personal experiences and historical context to explain his reasoning. It was more substantial than “it’s not necessary and I don’t like it”. There mere fact that he was unable to convince you of his viewpoint does not make his post invalid.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stratobill says:

        So since you feel that violence in sport isn’t any more barbaric than cooking with fire does that mean you’d have no objection to allowing batters to carry their bat with them as they make their way around the bases? You never know when a 32 ounce piece of lumber might come in handy in dealing with fielders trying to make plays on you!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Z – Where did I say his point was invalid? What I said was that his only point is that he doesn’t like it, and that there’s no need to dress that point up in the language of objectivity.

        I was pretty clear about the fact that I was responding to the implicit attitudes in his & others comments. His closing assertion is that the safer alternatives are “good”, which is not supported by anything but that attitude.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        strato – No, I was clear about the fact that I don’t particularly favor violence in sport or prefer more of it. What I’m doing is pointing out that a preference for one thing over another is not the same as an objective fact that the one thing is better than the other.

        Resist your urge to associate me with arguments you have in your head. Just go by what I write instead; it’s easier.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        Reverend Black, if you want to walk that lonesome valley, you can most definitely walk it by yourself. If you want people to follow you (i.e., “just go by what you write”), you might want to try making arguments that actually make sense first.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Your perception is not my reality.

        My favorite NBA player is Charles F’ing Oakley. That should tell you quite a bit about my style of play and what I prefer. The problem is that a lot of “Oakleyish” play is nothing more than ‘assault’ that has nothing to do with defense, but intimidation. Just because I happen to enjoy it, doesnot mean it’s good for the game.

        In this case, I happen to be arguing against my own preference. My own preference for gameplay and entertainment is not what’s best for the overall game and the well-being of the players.

        If this thread is about cock-measuring and who’s tough and who’s a Sally, I like where I stand. I’ve blocked the plate as a pitcher and taken spikes to to the thigh and forearm, elbows to the mouth, etc. If we want to do that I like where I stand. My point is that there’s a better alternative, that still allows for excitement without the (IMO) unnecessary risk of injury.

        I don;t see how people interpret the information as “I don’t like it”. I said “I’ve done it, and got a lot of respect from teammates from the situation.” What I specifically said is that I don’t feel it’s necessary, that there’s a better solution, and as time goes on we’ll view it in the same manner as we view wearing helmets, padded outfield walls, limiting brushbacks and beanbrawls, eliminating spikes high slides, etc.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Mariner – “I can give you an argument. I cannot give you understanding.”

        Circle – It was reasonable for me to infer from your statements that you would personally prefer the game with less violence; your use of words like “better” isn’t subtle.

        You repeatedly gloss over the fact that words like “better” as you continue to use them do not convey objective information about anything but about your own values. I’m not out to change your mind or to take a position contrary to yours where those values are concerned, I’m simply trying to get you to stop speaking of your assumptions as if they were conclusions.

        In other words, in order to say that the game would be “better” in any way that amounts to more than “better for my personal enjoyment”, you’ll have to explain what specifically it would be better for – and why other people ought to care.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stratobill says:

        Your own words : “To be clear, violence in sport isn’t any more barbaric than cooking with fire.”

        That’s the sentence that indicated to me that you don’t have any problem with violence in sport, so don’t tell me I wasn’t reacting to your words. I still don’t see how a person who makes that kind of blanket statement could object to allowing batters to carry their bat with them as an aid to preventing fielders from tagging them out.


        Vote -1 Vote +1

  50. lexomatic says:

    from reading a lot of these posts it seems like people would complain about people trying to make their workplaces safer… seriously?!
    frankly the sports unions are pretty b ad about protecting their membership from harm. this would be a good example where the union could take a stand.
    There is no obvious need for collisions
    there are rules already in place
    the contracts involved are often self-insured due to ease of injury in sports
    star players getting injured has potentially serious impact – who is really asshole enough to say they don’t care if “nobodys” also get hurt?

    Ending collisions is a no brainer really

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  51. Donald says:

    Pitchers should also be allowed to bean as many players as they want. Pitching the ball is part of baseball and reducing the chance of injury to players should not be taken into consideration.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      I like when people, in the process of attempting to mock it, reveal that they have failed to identify the logic of the argument they oppose.

      It’s a bit sad, but I like it anyway.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  52. Chris says:

    Good God people! Unbelievable that we’re even talking about this. The ONLY reason we’re even talking about this is because Posey HAPPENED to get hurt. Anybody could get hurt playing any sport at any time. Had Posey not gotten hurt, it would have been just another random play at the plate.

    Also, if we ban collissions, tell me how the runner scores? Cousins only chance of scoring was to run over Posey, which he did and I’m positive Posey was expecting it to come.

    Are we BASEBALL fans on this site or Ballarina fans? I suppose we could put tutu’s on all the runners at 3rd and have them try to dance around the catcher next time… RIDICULOUS!!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe D says:

      Hi there Captain Caps,

      You are WRONG. Posey’s injury is NOT the ONLY reason we are talking about this, as there are a significant number of people who have LONG RAILED against home plate collisions as DANGEROUS and COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. Posey’s injury just happens to be bringing the issue back to the FOREFRONT. There are many times in life, not just baseball, when a SINGULAR EVENT sheds more light on a long-running CONCERN. That does NOT NECESSARILY mean that the long-running concern is without MERIT.

      SINCERELY,
      joe

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        OK, then tell me what your plan is to make the change? Also, this is a long-running concern? Doubt it very much. I have NEVER heard of any concerns about colissions at the plate until this particular play.

        The runner has the right to try to score, the catcher has the right to protect the plate. Unfortunately, every now and then, someone’s going to get hurt. Don’t like it? I’m sure you’d look good in a tutu..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dave says:

        There was a collision at home in the Brewers game on Tuesday night and no article was written. The only reason people are talking about this is that a star player got hurt. if this is a back up catcher it doesn’t warrant a story.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AKevin says:

        @Chris
        Of course you haven’t heard about this before. You’re mind is made up on the issue. So it never crossed your own mind that collisions might be bad. And judging by the tone of your appeal-to-tradition fallacy of an argument, I’m betting you don’t hang out much with people who have different opinions than you…so you wouldn’t have heard it then, either.
        Also, please point me to another instance where a player’s agent called fro a rule change after sucha play. Could it be, perhaps, maybe that THAT’S what got us all talking about this?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        @AKevin,

        The reason I’ve never heard of this being an issue before is because it’s NOT AN ISSUE!! I happen to be a Twins fan, who BTW have a catcher that is pretty good ( you may have heard of him). He’s been in numerous colissions and never once, ever, never, ever, did ESPNancy or Fangraphs call for a rule change after one of his colissions. Why because he never got hurt? Hardly, he’s hurt all the time. It’s because it’s a play that is part of the game and if bad things happen, well, shit happens. If Mauer would have been run over, and broke an ankle, I would never have called for a rule change barring colissions. I would have said, oh well, part of the game, hopefully there is someone else that can take his place.

        What about checking in hockey, QB sacks in football. Both violent plays where sometimes the player gets hurt. But also both part of the game.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Great post Joe.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      Did you even watch the play? Posey did not just “happen to get hurt”, he got hurt because a large human being elected to run into him at full speed, an act he has been conditioned to believe was acceptable because players have been getting away with that for a long time. It wasn’t an accident, it was the result of a choice made by Cousns.

      Cousins could of stayed at 3rd base but he (or his coach) decided to risk trying to score. Why should he be rewarded for making a poor decision by being allowed to obliterate a defenseless catcher?

      And he did have the option of sliding behind the plate and tagging it with his toe or hand as he went by. So a collision was far from his only option.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  53. Blue says:

    Add a rule that the ball becoming dislodged as a result of a collision between the baserunner and the catcher does not prevent either a tag or a force from being a valid out.

    If baserunners no longer gain anything from running over catchers you’ll see a whole lot less contact at the plate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  54. LeeTro says:

    They could possibly take a page out of the NBA and make this a reviewable play. If the runner puts his shoulder down to collide and is not heading directly over the plate, he’s called out and ejected, fined, and possibly suspended. Darin Erstad had a big hand in ending Johnny Estrada’s career with a similar collision. There’s no need for such collisions, but I can’t see blocking the plate being totally eradicated. This is my best reasonable solution.

    About 2nd base takeouts, high school and NCAA rules say the runners must have their feet slide directly to, and not past, the base. It’s a very easy thing for umpires to call and much safer for middle infielders.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      Another, simpler way these collisions could be avoided is if catchers stayed out of the way. Whenever they stay in the way, they voluntarily assume the risks associated with collisions, don’t they?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LeeTro says:

        Yes, of course. However, I don’t see catchers always giving the back half of home plate to the runner that easily. At 2nd and 3rd, the runner has to slow his momentum down to stay on the bag, so the fielder can strattle the bag and get the tag down. At home, they can slide through, so strattling is not an option. If the catcher is willing to put his body in front of the plate at times, it should be legal to hit him. If he isn’t, the runner has a free path to home.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  55. Brian says:

    I don’t know when Washington adopted NFHS rules for baseball, but I’m guessing it was before the late ’90s when Dave played high school catcher. If so, then it would have been illegal for a runner to make contact–much less bowl him over–without sliding. I played backup catcher in high school and weighed about 150 pounds at the time, and don’t recall ever even being worried about getting hurt thanks to the rule. Yeah, a slide could still hurt, but that’s about it. Granted, I’m sure Dave faced that situation more often than I did. (I also realize that the rule is occasionally ignored by some idiot, but at least he gets ejected in that situation.)

    And that’s certainly a good thing in high school. I’m just not sure it’s necessary in MLB. As any runner can attest, not being able to go in standing up and risking even minimal contact (which would be an out, and risk an ejection) makes it a lot harder to score–good slides are a skill.

    On the catcher’s side, not having the catcher block the plate would be hard to enforce. His choices would be to wait out in front of the plate and dive back with the ball or to stand in the path of the runner without blocking the plate to a slide (allowing a space between his legs, for example). Which seems easy enough, except he has to do that while waiting for the throw and would have to know the player’s path to figure out where to stand legally. Right now he can just set up with his shinguard in front of home. Also, his knees would be more exposed than in current situations, if I’m imagining correctly, as they’d generally be over the plate (and directly in the runner’s path) instead of just off the plate (with the shinguard and foot blocking). As Shane said above, slides won’t always prevent injury.

    Perhaps catchers and runners should develop such new skills, I tend to think not. It’s a pretty significant change to gameplay, whereas helmets and other protective gear were not. Maybe try it in Rookie ball and see if there’s an change in the rate of outs made at home?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  56. Jack Murphy says:

    My God, I understand that No Cal is WHINE country, but know the game. Some of MLB’s greatest moments include plate collisions. In competition, injury may occur.

    I hear Giants radio & TV announcers both calling for rule changes.
    Are they serious, or simply drinking Boche’s Kool-Aid?
    They seem to want to ban the runner from attempting to score.
    So, what’s the alternative?
    Make every play at home a force play? Seems lame.

    Hey, I know… we could have all the players grab a joystick and play the game on a Wii Console. They could put it on the big board and televise it nationwide! It sure LOOKS realistic!

    I’d like to ask Yogi Berra & Johnny Bench, but I think I can guess what they’d say.

    Besides, had the runner been injured by Posey, these pages would be full of CHEST THUMPING, PRICE TAG DANGLING, JOHNNY COME LATELY Giant ‘fans’ inviting everyone to challenge their catcher, because he’ll bring the pain…and we all know it.

    Let me summarize:

    • Brian Stowe is a victim
    • Buster Posey is an unfortunate casualty of clean play.
    • You’re an idiot.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  57. Joe D says:

    I’ve wanted a rule change on this for a long time.

    The Posey thing is just another data point in my argument.

    If you desperately need a sport whose excitement derives primarily from the likelihood of injury, feel free to go watch football, hockey, boxing, MMA, and NASCAR.

    That has never been baseball’s allure, nor a main part of it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      Who beyond yourself do you mean to speak for there – and why?

      You don’t like it – check. No need to try to rewrite that statement so that it sounds like a broader objective truth.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        Speak for where? Don’t like what? Which statement? What did I “rewrite?”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AKevin says:

        I thought it was a sensible and friendly suggestion. Because…seriously…if you watch baseball for the violent collisions you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Joe – that was in reference to this statement: “That has never been baseball’s allure, nor a main part of it.”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        Rev — Ah, I see what you mean.

        It is not my intention to speak for anyone, but rather to express my opinion on that point.

        Yes, I suppose it would indeed be my strong opinion that, throughout history, collisions at home plate have done very, very little (if anything) to increase viewership and interest in baseball. I would further venture that if we were to poll baseball fans about why they watch the games, “to see the home plate collisions” wouldn’t crack the top 20 reasons given.

        This is not a verifiable objective truth, but rather my opinion on the subject: For the vast, vast majority of people, home plate collisions are not a big part of baseball’s allure.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Joe – Of course if you now limit the question to home plate collisions exclusively, you’re going to get a result that fits more comfortably with your original claim. But your original claim concerned aggression or physicality in sport broadly (things “likely to cause injury”), so I was responding to that idea.

        If you polled the same group about the removal of all of the “unnecessarily” dangerous physical elements of the game, I’d wager the result would be much different. But I agree with your guess on the question of collisions specifically.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Reverend Black says:

      AK – it was his last point I questioned. That point spoke to baseball’s allure and the idea that physical aggressiveness has not been a main part of it. I’d wager that if that stuff was taken out of the game, a significant number of fans would be lost. And objectively speaking, the physical play that tends to result in more injuries absolutely has been a feature of baseball historically. Getting rid of it is only a very recent trend.

      And Joe knows it’s not actually the likelihood of injury that tends to enthuse spectators of any of those sports above; those risks are merely the accepted side effects of the sports’ dynamics that do attract them.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe D says:

        “And Joe knows it’s not actually the likelihood of injury that tends to enthuse spectators of any of those sports above; those risks are merely the accepted side effects of the sports’ dynamics that do attract them.”

        Joe knows no such thing, because, on this point, we disagree.

        Most humans enjoy watching the pain and suffering of others, so long as it is dressed up enough that they don’t quite have to admit that fact to themselves. There’s some truth to the “appreciating the skill of the competitors” mumbo-jumbo, but the sad fact is that two-hand touch football and no-fight/no-check hockey wouldn’t generate nearly the viewership.
        Boxing and MMA, well, at least they get straight to the point. The primary objective is to inflict injury. If you can hit your opponent hard enough and often enough that they fall down and literally can’t get back up, then you win. Hooray!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • stratobill says:

        Weasel words. That’s what you’re using.

        Joe’s point was that most fans would not list “collisions at home plate” as one of the things that make watching baseball enjoyable. You respond by suggesting that Joe is for getting rid of physical play. He never said that.

        There is a difference between physical play and launching yourself like a 200 pound battering ram into a defenseless player.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        Joe – “Most humans enjoy watching the pain and suffering of others, so long as it is dressed up enough that they don’t quite have to admit that fact to themselves.”

        Even if it’s true that humans enjoy watching pain and suffering, I don’t think it qualifies as the best explanation for why people enjoy competitive sports like the ones you mentioned earlier. In other words, though it can’t be ruled out, simpler theories explain the available data much better and much more completely – so we should prefer those to your “bloodthirst hypothesis”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        strat – “Joe’s point was that most fans would not list “collisions at home plate” as one of the things that make watching baseball enjoyable.”

        You say that this was his “point”, and that could be true. But those were certainly not his words. I try to resist the urge to make assumptions about what a person may have intended to communicate and work instead with only what he did communicate.

        As for your words: “launching yourself into another player” is in fact just an example of physical play. I’ll leave it to you to spell out the differences you see there and the objective morality of them.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  58. CircleChange11 says:

    Dale,

    Not true.

    Frequently the runner that plows the catcher doesn’t touch home as he is plowing the catcher. Just as Cousins did, the runner goes back and touches the plate afterwards.

    Runners plowing a 2B or 3B could do the very same thing. They can’t tag you out if the ball is dislodged. Same scenario at home.

    The intent is to knock the ball loose with the understanding that you can then touch the plate before the C can gain his senses, retrieve the ball, and tag you out.

    Basically it’s a last ditch effort to be safe on a play where the runner feels they are going to be out.

    In this case it worked out for Cousins because he ended up being safe on a play he never should attempted. FWIW, Posey didn’t even catch the ball off the bounce, so he would have been safe with any slide. But he could not have predicted that.

    The thing that makes this situation different is that Posey was not on the 3B side of the plate, but in front. The runner had to cross the foul line to initiate contact. He did not take a straight path to the plate, he took a straight path to the catcher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • fred says:

      The problem is that many catchers will ‘show’ the plate (inducing the runner to slide) and then jut out their leg at the last minute and stone the guy (or if he’s diving in, which is almost always foolish, potentially wreck the guys wrist, shoulder, etc)

      I’ve seen Varitek do this a few times quite successfully… the problem for the runner is you have to make a decision on how and where to slide and the catcher still has time to shift at the last minute after that decision is made, so if you sense the ball is going to beat you to home there is always the chance that the catcher shifts and blocks the plate.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        You’re right, to a degree. But, if the catcher has the time to give the plate, catch the ball, and then shift to block the plate, and tag the runner out … then the runner was going to be out by quite a bit.

        The hook slide is a b—– to defend … as is the headfirst slide with arm extended. The full speed runner moves a lot wquicker than an armoured/distracted catcher.

        My “solution” would be that catchers cannot block the plate. This eliminates the collisions. They either have to straddle the plate like 3rd basemen do and use a drop down tag …. or they have to stand in front of the plate and use a swipe/drop tag like middle infielders.

        Just enforce that the runner has to have access to the plate.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  59. Roger says:

    Simple fix-ban injuries. I hate that part of the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • GuyWhoDoesn'tGetInternetSarcasm says:

      WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Are you a moron?????

      You can’t stop injuries! Injuries are going to occur regardless. Sometimes during spring training workouts even!

      I pulled a groin the other day just getting up to get some Doritos during the 18th inning of that Phils-Reds game. And I was just WATCHING!

      I don’t get you people.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • GuyWhoREALLYDoesn'tGetInternetSarcasm:IronyEdition says:

        Uh, dude.
        I think OP was making a joke.
        It’s great that your mom finally got that cable hookup for the basement.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  60. Matt Wieters says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. If the other catchers ate their Wieties, guys would be scared to barrel into them too.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  61. David says:

    Home plate determines run or no run. So I think that a different rule certainly could apply to the most “important” base. Each player is allowed to “do whatever it takes” to get to or prevent one getting to home. Just another way to look at it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      Can the catcher pick up a bat and hit the runner over the head? How about the runner, can he pick up the bat and challenge the catcher to mortal combat “do whatever it takes” style?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • youngthang86 says:

        Stop saying this. Your ridiculous hyberbole has been a constant annoyance on this thread and you obviously have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation. It’s unfortunate that Buster got hurt, but as many posters have already noted, no one would care if this was Ramon Castro or Henry Blanco we were talking about. The collision at the plate has been a rare, but admittedly exciting part of the game for over one hundred years and should remain so. You can’t legislate all of the risk out of the game just because one golden boy improperly blocked the plate and got hurt. In do or die situations such as this, the reward for both players (Posey and Cousins) outweighed the risk. It’s an unfortunate situation but what are you supposed to do? Create a rule where Posey isn’t allowed to block the plate and Cousins just strolls in? Or where Cousins has to pull up and sacrifice a potentially winning run because he might hrm someone?( See hyperbole can go both ways) Despite what dave is saying, there is an element of risk involved in playing baseball and any sport where a hard projectile is whizzing around the diamond at speeds of 90 plus mph IS a contact sport. It may not be the NFL or MMA, but risk is involved. And on a further note, most people on this thread are rational and despite disagreeing, can have a legitimate discussion. You, on the other hand “mike wants wins” are a foolish blowhard and reading your comments is a waste of everyone’s time.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mike wants wins says:

        Ouch, I thought most of my arguments were logic based. I’m sorry you disagree. The quote I was quotting was ““do whatever it takes” “. I assume that is hyperbole, and the poster didn’t really mean it. To prove that, I posted hyperbole. To show what the poster really mean was that there should be some rules. Now, if we can agree there should be some rules, the discussion should be, what should those rules be? I’m not sure how my statements that the rule should be that no player should block a base, and no runner should take a paht into a fielder instead of into a base are annoying, but I guess they are to you. Sorry about that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  62. Squads says:

    There’s no question that Posey wasn’t prepared for a collision. When he turns it looks like he was expecting a runner to be sliding to the outside of the plate, but much to his chagrin, the dude is right in his business. Then his foot gets caught underneath him during the collision, which I’m guessing is how that bone broke in his lower leg.

    I see alot of people calling for catchers not being allowed to be in the baseline or the runner will be called safe. That type of rule reeks of all kinds of controversial calls from umpires, which will swing games based on a high speed judgement call by an ump. I for one hate to add more and more leverage to the umps judgment in determining the outcome. Just take the NFL for example, where all sorts of rules, penalties, and replays are slowing the game down to a crawl and taking the game out of the player’s hands more and more with each addendum to the rulebook.

    Cousins came in straight on the baseline and put his shoulder to the chest of Posey. He wasn’t head hunting or taking out his knees. Posey wasn’t ready for it and he paid dearly. Sorry and see you next year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  63. Eric P says:

    I caught all four years in high school and so far three more in college, and was involved in probably a dozen “run-over” collisions, and a handful of kinda unintentional collisions as well, so even though it isn’t allowed, it still happens pretty often.

    I never got really hurt-just bumps, bruises, and a minor dislocation of my non-throwing wrist that just kept me out about a week, but honestly..I thought it was one of the most exciting things I got to do as a catcher.

    Most of the other catchers I’ve spoken to about collisions feel pretty much the same way I do about it. It may be a risky play, and I guess if I had millions of dollars on the line like Posey and others do I’d be more worried about my health and safety I’d probably feel differently about it, but I’d really hate to see it go personally.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The209 says:

      if this was a black player, Dave wouldn’t have written this crappy post.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      So because you never were injured seriously enough to require major surgery, 6 months or more of grueling recuperation, and potential loss of tens of millions of dollars of future income you think that it’s no big deal if it happens to someone else.

      In regard to home plate collisions you say that you’d “really hate to see it go personally”. What I’d really “hate to see go” is the future careers of exciting young players like Posey, Santana, Mauer, etc.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Eric P says:

        Actually, I said if I had millions on the line I’d probably think different about it because I would have so much to lose. I’m on scholarship for baseball-which is the equivalent of about 15-20K a year, and I still don’t mind someone trying to run me over to dislodge the ball. I understand that there is risk involved in the play, but I’m sure if you were to ask Posey about the collisions at the plate before his injury, he would answer the same way most other catchers would have.

        Also, just because I said I wouldn’t want a rule change and that differs from your view on this situation doesn’t mean you have to act like such a tool about it. But hey, it’s the internet. Douche away cap’n.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zeebo says:

      No doubt about it Eric P., a play at the plate was/is my favorite part of the game as a catcher. Catching requires a lot of toughness, and you’re going to take your licks one way or the other. Collisions at the plate are just a part of it. You don’t like it, don’t block the plate.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      I’ve seen some absolutely gruesome/awesome collisions. I started off at JuCo, which I refer to as “Macho Ball” because everyone is there to go pro or get their grades up … so everything is heat, power swings, and everything else badass. I’ve seen broken collarbones, face-to-face contact that left both guys FUBAR’d, and well … and basically every collision has to devolve into some sort of confrontation. As a player, it was freackin’ awesome.

      As a pitcher and current coach, I have a high affinity for catchers. It’s the absolute best/worst position on the field and basically you need some “shit in your neck” to do it. The highest compliments you can get is that you’re a “dirtbag” or a “brick wall”, etc. Catchers are tough as piss, and I’m proud to say that my son fits the description. I mean how can you not be proud of a player that has more sweat and dirt on him than any two players, and still wants some more.

      However, part of my job as a coach, dad, and adult, is to protect the players from themselves. As a pitcher I would throw 250 pitches before I would ask out. We didn’t wear sleeves even though it’s 38-degrees in Chicagoland in April, we always disclosed sore arms, and we’d fight in the blink of an eye.

      My point is that athletes grow up in a macho environment. We shouldn’t necessarily ask catchers what they think about it, because they have a conditioned and expected response. We’re sure to hear a long list of interviews with former catchers that will say they go blasted, and are fine with it, and it comes with the job.

      Boxers would have said the same thing about shortening fights from 15-rounds to 12. Quarterbacks didn’t whine themselves into no-knee-level tackles. Posey isn’t asking the public to support a change of rule enforcement. Good minded people are questioning (for and against) the necessity of a high risk play from various aspects.

      Catchers have my upmost respect, and would continue to have it, even if they did away collisions.

      The last thing you can call a guy that catches 25 games in August Texas heat and humidity while throwing himself in front of 90mph pitches in the dirt and taking foul balls off the arms and shoulders is a pussy. Catchers are going to be the toughest guys on the field regardless. Walk through a dugout in the 6th inning of every game, and it’s obvious which guy is the catcher. He’s the one that looks like he just crawled a half-marathon.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      You say you’re okay with putting 15-20k in salary at risk by having runners run over you? In my state, minimum wage is 16k per year.
      So how exactly are we to understand that your willingness to risk
      minimum wage pay in any way compares to a MLB player putting a 7 figure salary on the line?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  64. Mike says:

    Where was this article/debate when Nyjer Morgan was barreling over catchers last year? Any catchers other than Posey get run over this year?? I’m sure there have been a few collisions so far this year. I’m not saying the rules shouldn’t change in some capacity, but a lot of this is a knee-jerk reaction to a golden boy going down and ruining everybody’s fantasy team. Yes, it sucks that Posey got hurt, but a rule change would not be as simple as this article makes it seem. If you think differently, imagine your favorite team in game 7 of the World Series, trying to gun down a runner from the other team who is about to score the winning run. Everyone going to be ok with the catcher swiping at the runner like a bull fighter? No. For better or worse, the play at the plate is a common part of the game that routinely factors largely in critical situations.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      The attitude that reckless, dangerous play is acceptable as a means to achieve victory is just wrong. I believe Cousins was quoted as saying it’s his job to do “whatever it takes” to help his team win the game. If that’s the case, why not allow runners to carry a dagger or a gun so that they can stab or shoot any catcher who tries to block home plate?

      Obviously I’m exaggerating to make a point, the point being that there has to be a limit in the amount of violence that can be used for the sake of winning a ballgame. I say that having a 210 pound athlete running full speed into another player in an effort to knock the ball out of his glove goes over the line.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Reverend Black says:

        The argument that there must be limits isn’t provocative. There already are limits. The argument you want to make is that there ought to be more limits. Like many others, you keep forgetting to do that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  65. stratobill says:

    Baseball usually has to be dragged kicking and screaming into any discussion of changing the ways that they do things, but I am cautiously optimistic that with the NFL finally taking concussions seriously that there is a possibility that MLB will start taking collisions at home plate seriously as well.

    There is already a rule against catchers blocking the plate without the ball in their possession. It’s called obstruction. Trouble is that catchers persistantly do it and aren’t penalized. How about a new rule that says umpires must EJECT any catcher who blocks home plate without being in possession of the ball? I think that would be a start.

    Second, in the collision last night the runner went out of his way to smash into Posey. He had a clear shot at home plate but his mind was clearly made up that he was going to crash into Posey long before he reached home plate. How
    about baseball reviewing every home plate collision, the way the NFL reviews every tackle and suspending any runner who lowers his shoulder or launches himself in a dangerous manner into a catcher? Throw in a hefty fine too.

    The only way to minimize these dangerous collisions is for umpires AND baseball’s off the field officials to enforce existing rules and penalize dangerous play on the part of both catchers and runners.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      My concern with the home-plate collisions isn;t necessarily the ankles and legs, but concussions.

      My opinion has changed from “concussions are for pussies” to “there is some real concern here” … and that started with how concussions took down Eric Lindros. Seriously, concussions ended the career of a 6’5 250 pound 50-goal scorer.

      We’re seeing with Morneau that concussions can be a serious deal, and we haven’t scraped the tip of the iceberg with baseball in this regard.

      I’ve heard a lot of accounts form catchers that conceded that after they got blasted they had no idea where they were. Walked to the other dugout, rolled the ball to first instead of the mound, had no idea what batter was at the plate … but would never say anything about it.

      We’ve seen with Probert and Deurson that concussions can lead to or be linked to some rather serious brain ailments. When I hear Jeremy Roenick start to take these kids of things seriously, then I feel there must be some merit in the eyes of the players, because if there was ever a Matthew McCounaghey of players, it’d be JR.

      The issue is bigger than whether a catcher injures an ankle or whether the catcher is a prospect or not.

      Of course baseball will never get out in front of anything … but will lag 10-15 years behind.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  66. Ryan says:

    These injuries at home are not that frequent. No reason for everyone to get excited here about one injury. Plays at the plate are exciting, keep it in the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stratobill says:

      First, who says that we’re getting excited about one injury? I’ve despised this style of kami-kaze play for a long, long time.

      Second, I’d gladly give up the “excitement” of home plate collisions in exchange for having fewer serious injuries to players. If you want to see collisions, go watch football.

      Third, you’re dreaming if you don’t think injuries at home plate are frequent in MLB. Not all of them are season enders but how many season ending injuries do we have to see before we say enough is enough?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  67. Leo says:

    This is nothing. Wait until Nyjer Morgan takes out and injures a Pitcher covering home plate!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  68. Some of you fellows ought to watch a little ballet. Those dancers–both male and female–are extraordinary athletes. The strength, stamina, and conditioning required to perform at the highest levels of ballet rival any professional sport. You have to be tough to wear a tutu.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  69. Scout Finch says:

    Should the take out slide at 2nd base be verboten as well ?

    Agreed though. Player HAS to make an effort to tag the base first. As opposed to pummel the catcher, then reach back and tag.

    A rule change is definitely in order. I’d expect it to come along very soon. Perhaps, to make a statement and create a scapegoat, Cousins will receive punitive measures.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  70. tdotsports1 says:

    But how would Buck Martinez have become the legendary figure in Blue Jays history without the broken leg story (in which he actually tagged a guy OUT at home lying on the ground in agony).

    Seriously though, we live in a very reactionary society, if there is an injury or string of injuries it quickly becomes an epidemic (see concussions in hockey) and all of these rule changes are proposed.

    If you want to block the plate, do it, if you don’t want to risk it, don’t. No need to impose rules on grown men who play a sport for a living.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mike wants wins says:

      So, there should be no rules? Can they pick up the bat and smash an opponent running toward home? I mean, I assume we agree there should be some rules, right? The question is, what should those rules be?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tdotsports1 says:

        Be reasonable, there have been 10x the amount of home plate collisions that rendered no injuries. Bringing an example of using a bat to smash an opponent is ridiculous and a false equivalency.

        Jeff Passan wrote a good piece at Yahoo, saying basically what I said, there doesn’t need to be a rule to enforce one play in baseball.

        Baseball has plenty of rules.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  71. Garrett says:

    Why was this article not written when Aki was injured on an equally ridiculous “part of baseball”?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  72. zhonggge says:

    surprise web: == www goodshopping100 com====

    very good web,believe you will love it.

    FREE SHIPPING,accept pyapal

    discount including evisu jeans,watches shirts,bags,hat and the decorations and so on

    trust me!

    Opportunity knocks but once

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  73. Jack Parkman says:

    Don’t stand on the tracks when the trains comin through

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  74. Tommy D says:

    One thing that should be considered is that if you eliminate the ‘barrel’ play and require a slide on every play when the catcher receives the throw inside the line and begins to sweep his tag across the line, the runner is going to assume much of the risk of injury. A dropped shinguard when applying a tag on a headfirst or traditional slide can result in broken bones and torn ligaments, which can just as easily end a season. I think its tough to call for a rule change that isn’t going to eliminate the risk of injury so much as transfer the risk from one player to another.

    And while I don’t care to see catchers getting blown up at the plate, having runners go into a slide unnaturally is going to get people hurt as well. And to be honest I’m not sure where you would start to keep both players reasonably safe.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  75. Owen says:

    This is just ridiculous. Yes, it’s a shame that Posey got hurt, no one ever wants to see that, but there is no reason to overreact to this one play. Catchers (and infielders) get hit. It’s part of the game. Each starting catcher probably has 10 or 15 collisions a year and most result in nothing but a bruise. Just because Posey’s leg got caught awkwardly under him in a freak accident resulting in an injury doesn’t mean there is any need to change the rules.

    The same thing happens in sports all the time and it is getting to be ridiculous. This was a routine play, one that Posey knows how to brace and ready himself for, and has had before, it just so happens he ended up hurt this time. No one would ever suggest outlawing checking in hockey, yet invariably once or twice a year someone gets hurt on a clean check resulting in an unnecessary and unwarranted penalty/ejection/fine/suspension along with an uproar from the media for a week or two. It’s always a shame when someone gets hurt, but any player can get hurt ant any time in any sport. I feel bad that Posey is most likely done for the season but it was a routine play that happens hundreds of times a year. Yes, players will get hurt in collisions at the plate, but they also get hurt running the bases, swinging the bat, diving for balls, throwing pitches. It happens.

    I was a catcher from 4th grade through four years of college and I loved the collisions! It’s part of the position. It’s my plate to block, and it’s the runner’s plate to score. If you don’t want to get hit, stay out of the way – and he was most definitely in the runner’s way, even at the end when he came forward a bit, if he had caught the ball cleanly he could have easily blocked the plate with his leg, shifted weight, and brought the tag across, essentially giving the runner no choice but to concede the out or go straight for the plate as he did).

    It’s the late innings of a close game, both guys want to win and that means the catcher will try to block the plate and the runner will do whatever he needs to to tough the plate safely. The collision was is extra innings and resulted in the winning run. Saying that it shouldn’t have happened because Cousins shouldn’t have tagged or should have slid, or whatever is just silly. He (and his 3rd base coach) were trying to win a game, and they did. And that one win/loss could be the difference between making the playoffs or sitting at home in October, for both teams.

    It was a clean play. It’s unfortunate he was hurt. I wish him a speedy recovery. But please stop with the rule change nonsense.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  76. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    It just sucks to be a catcher! That is one reason Harper is not coming up as a catcher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  77. Mario P. says:

    If this had happened to some 3rd string backup in Pittsburgh, no one would’ve batted an eye and it would’ve been chalked up to ‘the way the game is played’ since time immemorial. But because this occured to the wunderkind of the defending World Series champs, the outcries were immediate. The allowance of blocking home plate (and of other bases, for that matter, since technically interfering with the runner getting to a base is against the rules) never made sense to me, but the mutliple calls to banish this type of play now is simply because it happened to Buster Posey.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  78. TheGrandslamwich says:

    These comments need more Fosse-esque rants.

    Injuries are always going to be an issue in baseball, and the inherent risk is a large part of the nice compensation players’ receive. I disagree with the rule change as it is one of the most exciting plays to watch. Also, I disagree with the basic idea of comparing baseball to other sports (as well as pretty much any sport-to-sport comparison, as all sports have their own value and charm in their own manner. Financial comparisons are fine, but rule-book change comparisons do not hold any value to me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • lee___D says:

      “”injuries are always going to be an issue in baseball, and the inherent risk is a large part of the nice compensation players’ receive.””

      Well injuries are a risk, but players bring in tons of $$ for the man, so they deserved to be paid well.

      ” I disagree with the rule change as it is one of the most exciting plays to watch”

      It’s just exciting because it’s a bang-bang play. not because of the collision, imo.

      “Also, I disagree with the basic idea of comparing baseball to other sports (as well as pretty much any sport-to-sport comparison, as all sports have their own value and charm in their own manner. Financial comparisons are fine, but rule-book change comparisons do not hold any value to me.”

      agreed

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  79. Deadeye says:

    If you are going to allow the catcher to fully block the plate, you have to allow the runner to dislodge the catcher. Should you be allowed to go at their head or upper body? That is debatable. If their is no attempt to slide you could make it an automatic out.
    My son is a catcher and I worry for his safety but I don’t want to see all collisions go away.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  80. derf says:

    i say it should stay the same. if the team really values that position they should move the player ie bryce harper, mauer, etc. its an argument that happens once every 4 years when a marquee catcher gets taken out and as we all know baseball is a slow moving sport when it comes to rules change…when the owners start complaining (big name big team owners) then someone might have a ear bent until then its the sport we all grown to love and all enjoy seeing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  81. retired catcher_real says:

    Injuries are part of the game and blocking the pate is part of the catchers arsenal. Ask any Real catcher (not someone who caught a game in middle school) if they want to give up their right to block the plate, and they’ll say absolutely not. This ‘article’ is whats wrong with sports: instead of adapting and becoming stronger, non athlete commentators whine and want to change the rules, or add more safeguards or ways to avoid risk. Before you know it you can’t take out a double play either. besides Posey’s injury wasn’t a result of a powerful, defenseless hit, it was him moving to apply the tag and turning over on himself.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  82. blank says:

    I love watching ball, but I don’t know all the ticky tacky rules, but is there a rule that stops the catcher from dropping his shoulder into the runner and hitting him? It should be a 2 war street, if the runner can hit the catcher, then the catcher should be able to defend himself and hit the runner

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Greg H says:

      That’s exactly what Posey attempted to do and he lost. It is suicidal for a catcher who is basically at rest to lower his shoulder into an oncoming runner traveling at about 18 to 20 mph. A catcher really has only one choice when he is anticipating a collision: lessen the impact of the blow by rolling with it (like a basketball player taking a charge).

      I know that some people teach catchers to try to deliver a blow to the runner, but these are people who obviously have no grasp of Newton’s Laws. That’s no different then telling a boxer that the best way to take a punch is to lunge into it. Besides, the goal of the catcher is to tag the runner out by holding onto the ball, not to deliver punishment.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        It looked to me like Poesy attempted the quick “catch and swipe” tag.

        I didn’t see any evidence of him lowering his shoulder.

        To me, it looked like he was trying quickly (too quickly) to get his tag to the back of the plate where he thought the runner was going to be.

        The runner blasted him as he was opening up to attempt the tag.

        I think he was absolutely stunned that there was contact. I’ve had the same look on my face after a similar event. It’s the WTF look.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg H says:

        I watched the video again, which included an angle that I hadn’t seen before, and I think you’re right. After catching the ball, Posey got low, as if he was bracing himself for the collision – which is what I saw the first time I watched the play in real speed. But Posey definitely began his tag right before the contact, and he was trying to swipe tag the runner. I don’t think Posey anticipated Cousins coming in high. I think Posey expected Cousins to try to dive wide of home plate and catch the back corner with his hand. Since the throw was slightly toward the first base side of home plate, Posey may not have realized that he was still mostly blocking the plate and there was really no other viable option for Cousins to get to home safely. The way Posey was hit, I’m surprised he didn’t suffer a shoulder injury as well.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  83. mike wants wins says:

    Basically, the arguements come down to this:

    Reasons against a rule change:
    1. All rule changes are bad, it has always been this way
    2. All rules changes that are for safety are for losers and not for real men and if we make this change civilization as we know it will crumble like Rome did
    3. This particular event is an exception to the rules of safety
    4. It is exciting, so it should stay in the game
    5. Home plate is more special than other bases, so it should have different rules
    6. You only care because a great player was hurt, or a white player was hurt or something like that

    Reasons for a rule change:
    1. The momentary excitement of a collision is not worth having to watch the Drew Buteras of the world play instead of (great player x)
    2. There is nothing intrinsically basebally about collisions (unlike tackles in football), and they are dangerous so get rid of them
    3. Player safety is important, so get rid of them
    4. There is a ton of money tied up in these stars, and its millions down the drain if they are out (not to mention less fun to watch when they are out)

    Did I get them all?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  84. scottz says:

    When something bad happens to someone, I disagree that the reaction should always be to change a rule (or law) so that it never happens again. That kind of thinking is just way too black and white for me.

    Baseball, like any sport, has the potential for injuries. The participants willingly play for money, love of the game, fame, or any number or combination of reasons and accept the risks of the game. They are idolized and lionized for doing things in their sport that others cannot or will not do as well, including a catcher blocking the plate and/or a runner adeptly sliding around or through the block or barreling into the catcher “cleanly”.

    There is no room for dirty plays, and any play where a player is injured due to the direct actions of another player should be reviewed. If the actions are interpreted to be outside the bounds of a clean play through a subjective determination, then that individual player should be punished in some manner. Plays which are clearly dirty should carry the largest punishments. The players involved should be interviewed to ascertain their perceptions of whether the play was clean or dirty. That’s it. In this case, Cousins clearly (to me) wasn’t trying to hurt him – or if he did, he was having the biggest and quickest change of heart in history – as immediately after touching the plate, he crawls over to the Posey to pat his side. That action, in my subjective review, absolves from the intent part.

    It’s not “fair” or “right” that Buster Posey or Drew Butera or any MLB catcher between those two (i.e., every catcher) gets hurt in a collision at the plate, but as my Dad told me at a very young age, “Life isn’t fair, and you’re going to be a whole lot better off if you understand and accept that.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  85. CircleChange11 says:

    Dad told me at a very young age, “Life isn’t fair, and you’re going to be a whole lot better off if you understand and accept that.”

    Dads, and men in general, say things like that a lot, a whole lot actually …. then something “unfair” happens to a loved one and dad’s view changes quite a bit from “hey, stuff happens” to “someone must pay”. It’s human/man nature.

    Men are always super tough when it involves bad things happening to other people. Some dude in the John Lackey thread, in reference to Lackey’s wife going through cancer, suggested Lackey should be more like him (the poster) and just get back to work like everyone else. We’re all super tough from a distance (especially dads).

    That’s all beside the point, although an interesting discussion.

    I interpret this discussion, not as an issue of fairness, but whether in regards to home plate collisions, player safety is more important than traditional practice. It’s a good discussion to have, even if we don’t reach a consensus.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • scottz says:

      Do you know why Dads say that? Because it is true.

      Without going too far down this discussion, as I don’t think it’s what you intended, I would read your first paragraph to suggest that you believe that only people who have never experienced unfairness would say such a thing as the quote. Would that be a fair assessment of your first paragraph?

      I think player safety is absolutely important, and I think the game has and will continue to adapt. But sport (most sports between directly competing teams/individuals) is inherently physical and carries with it risk of injury. Attempting to regulate out that risk seems an odd concern, especially in light of all of the much greater risks that each of us willingly endures daily.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        My first paragraph could be summed up as “People often have much higher standards of conduct/achievement for others than they do for themselves”.

        I played college baseball, whereas most of my buddies played college football or wrestled. If I were to talk of baseball as being a “contact sport” around them, It’d get laughs.

        We like to think of baseball as being physical and contact, etc …. but it’s very much a skill-based sport. Honestly, it’s more golf than football.

        About as macho as I can get about baseball is that it involves athletic, explosive, actions.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • scottz says:

        I agree that a great deal of people have higher standards of conduct for others than they do for themselves. I disagree that all people do. I submit to you that my Dad would not fit into the group of “people” that fit into your summation.

        Coincidentally, I played college golf. I don’t think it was much like baseball at all. I mean, except for when the pitcher stands on the mound in front of the tee box and you have to hit it with your driver and then run to the first of four consecutive safety areas spaced 90 feet apart. But otherwise, golf seemed a little different to me.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        I’m in the same group as your dad, it’s probably not fair to my own kids.

        Contact in baseball is rare enough that just the presence of contact seems to bring about conflict/confrontation … since the expectation is no contact.

        It seems weird to say that since I’m often on the “baseball players are not sissies” side of the conversation, and what I’m really left with are pitchers that continue after comebackers or batters that are willing to put their nose in the situation, even though a 94mph beanball hurts. Middle infielders are often skilled/athletic enough to avoid any attempt at contact by the runner.

        There’s really not that much contact anywhere on the field … even the contact at 2B is not that great as compared to other sports. IMHO, baseball has less contact than even basketball, which has less than hockey, which has less than football.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • scottz says:

        I don’t know that the comparisons to other sports has a place in this conversation, because of the differences in play and rules for each sport. For example, I agree that baseball has less contact than does basketball, but because of the differences in the games, I think that baseball has a greater likelihood for serious injury, especially for injuries caused by collision (whether it player vs player, ball vs player, or player vs something in the field/court of play). When discussing a rule change in baseball, it doesn’t make sense to me to site similar rule changes from other sports – the sports are different. (Not that such comparisons are wholly invaluable – analogies have their place in the world.)

        So, while baseball isn’t a contact sport in the way that other sports are, it is a contact sport as under the rules of baseball, contact is part of the game. Without having data on hand to support me me, I dare say that more players are injured at second base than at home each and every year for the simple fact that in order to get to home plate, you must first get to second base. A broken leg by the second baseman turning two who doesn’t evade a slide, a concussion by the runner sliding into the shortstop’s knee, a turned ankle by a runner sliding feet first, broken fingers by a runner sliding head first slide, and on and on.

        I think (again, just my opinion, obviously) a blanket regulation changes the sport for the worse.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        I brought up other sports because:

        [1] Each sport has significantly increased its safety measures through rule changes, even though “It’s football”, “it’s hockey”, “it’s basketball”, “it’s baseball” could have been the explanation for not changing rules. (Also, they were often cases of the league protecting players from themselves, not players asking for rule changes).

        [2] The justification that baseball is a contact sport to support home plate collisions. Even I have to acknowledge that baseball is not much of a contact sport.

        I think everyone has pretty much made their point throughout the discussion (and I’ve made too many), so at this point I’m “just talkin”, and not really trying to change anyone’s opinion or anything.

        The one thing I know is that any change that lessens the “contact” or “manliness” will not be an issue after a few years (or with the next generation). It will simply be the “way the game is played”. If the rule is changed for 2012, my son (10yo) will likely not remember what baseball was even like before home plate collisions.

        I do agree that you couldn’t/shouldn’t have [1] no trucking the catcher, [2] but still allow blocking of the plate. You would need to have no blocking/trucking. You can’t give total control of the plate to one or the other. I think it can be just as dangerous, if not moreso, for a runner to try and slide through an armored catcher.

        I think catchers can swipe/drop tag just like everyone else. Someone made the arguement that catcher’s gloves aren’t suited for swipe tags. My response is two-fold:

        [1] Swipe tags are trash anyway; good coaching involves (IMO) teaching the “drop tag” (quicker, more reliable). I don;t even want to know the % of swipe tags that don’t even contact the runner, but are called out because the ball was there first.

        [2] Fielders gloves are designed to be “shovels”. Catcher’s gloves are designed to be “fly traps”. I’m not sure catcher’s gloves aren’t better equipped to secure the ball more than fielder’s gloves. catcher’s mitts aren’t the “heavy double-bumpered” mitts they were of the past …. more of a catcher’s mitt & 1st baseman’s mitt hybrid. They’re actually pretty damn amazing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • scottz says:

        I’m also just talking at this point, as I think it is pretty clear that you and I view it differently. I’ll close out my thoughts on this thread by clarifying that I am not saying baseball is a contact sport as a way of justifying home plate collisions. I am saying that all sports involving players or teams which compete to achieve something (on offense) and stop the other team from achieving something (on defense) is inherently a physical/contact process to some degree. At the highest levels of sport, the professional athlete has reached that level *because* they are able to achieve or help achieve the sport’s goal better than others. In baseball, this includes getting to a given base as quickly as possible, and in some cases, with little regard to their own (or in this case, their opponent’s) body. Asking them to not do this takes away from the level of excellence/speed that we, as fans, marvel at, and that players strive for. In my opinion.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  86. Greg H says:

    I agree with Dave’s sentiment, but his solutions are impractical: “Just change the rules and make intentional contact with a catcher illegal, and make it illegal for catcher’s [sic] to impede the baserunner’s ability to run directly towards home plate. It’s a simple fix to a real problem, and there’s no reason why we should continue to delay making this change.”

    One of the myths that continues to be proferred (although not by Dave in this article) is that catchers are the only fielders who are permitted to impede the path of the baserunner. That is false. It is not obstruction for any fielder to impede the path of the baserunner if he is in the act of fielding a ball or if he has the ball. And there is no prohibition for any fielder to position himself in front of a base in anticipation of a throw so long as he is not impeding the path of the runner.

    The reason we don’t see infielders planting themselves in front of a base the way catchers do when applying a tag is (1) infielders do not wear body armor, and (2) infielders can make sweep tags and get out of the way of an advancing runner. And that’s why the rules treat catchers differently. Anyone who has ever tried to slide into home when a catcher has the plate blocked knows what a futile endeavor it is. A sliding runner can’t win against shin guards. And there is no penalty for over-running or over-sliding home plate permits the runner not to temper his approach to home plate. So unlike plays at second or third, a runner can go through home plate at full speed. Such a rule invites collisions.

    The other problem with Dave’s argument is that catchers can’t really apply tags the way infielders do. A catcher’s mitt is not conducive to making sweep tags. A catcher is taught that the proper way to make a tag is to hold the ball in your throwing hand and, if possible, use the mitt as a cover to help prevent the ball from dislodging. Because of the way catcher’s mitts are designed, tagging a runner out with the ball in the mitt creates a great risk of the ball getting dislodged. In other words, a catcher really doesn’t have the option of tagging and avoiding contact with the runner the way an infielder, who isn’t weighted down with body armor, does. So a rule which prohibits catchers from ever blocking home plate even when they have the ball would make it very difficult for catchers to apply a proper tag on the runner.

    Just imagine a catcher straddling home plate, taking a throw slighly off line, and then having to drop to his knees while holding the ball with his bare hand slightly in front of home plate. The catcher needs to put the ball in front of the plate or else the runner will be safe. But the catcher cannot block home plate, so his body must continue to straddle the plate. Meanwhile, the runner is sliding into the catcher’s bare hand with spikes. To avoid injury, the catcher would have to cover his hand with the mitt. But if his body in any way impedes the path of the runner, the runner is safe. In short, this is a very awkward play for the catcher. To see an example, watch Yogi Berra’s attempt to tag Jackie Robinson stealing home in the ’55 World Series. It isn’t pretty.

    I just don’t see how Dave’s solution is practical when baseball must enforce the golden rule that the baserunner has the right of way, and balance that rule with the knowledge of the way catchers must make tags at the plate. The way the rules are currently written gives umpires the discretion to call runners out who essentially use excessive force against a fielder (Rule 7.09(j), which was why A-Rod was called out for his shenanigans against Arroyo). But home plate umpires are going to be reluctant to find excessive force on the part of the runner when a catcher with body armor is legally blocking his right of way.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  87. AK707 says:

    Everybody seems to go into “well, the throw beat him to home plate, so cousins had no choice but to take buster out” mode, but what I am wondering is, whats wrong with a game where if the throw beats you, and the fielder catches it and tags you, you are out? Adding this whole “knock the shit out of him to make him drop the ball” thing is way out of line.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  88. Gomez says:

    Here’s how you fix the problem:

    - If during a play at the plate any part of the catcher’s body is in line with or over the basepath line prior to receipt of the ball, the runner is safe due to interference and a run will be scored.
    - If the runner has an open path to home plate equal or greater than half the width of the basepath and yet collides with the catcher, he is not only automatically out due to interference but automatically ejected from the ballgame.
    - If either of the above are covered by existing MLB rules, then crack down and get umpires to start strictly enforcing them.

    Collisions will become rare if doing so costs you runs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Owen says:

      This type of rule would open up way too many on the fly judgement calls from the home plat umpire about exactly how much of the path is open, 47% or 51%. Plus, the runner is also trying to determine how much of the plate is covered as he is running full speed towards the plate, knowing that if he overestimates by 5% and collides with the catcher the umpire will call him out.

      Also, why allow the catcher to be able to block up to half the plate? That limits where the runner can go and allows the catcher to know where the player will be sliding/where to tag. If the catcher is allowed to block any part of the plate, the runner should be free to any part of the baseline.

      Additionally, what about plays exactly like the Posey one? He assumed he would catch/posses the ball and was in the motion of sliding back towards the plate (if only with his glove, he was moving before controlling the ball). So even with your rules he this injury would have happened because it is impossible for a catcher to make a bang bang play (either hold on during a collision or attempt a swipe tag) starting from a stationary position completely out of the basepath. The runner would score every time.

      Finally, with my understanding of your suggesting, if the catcher has the ball in his possession, he could still block the plate, which would allow the runner to collide with him… You would basically be adding in a ton of judgement calls by players and umpires, each of which having the potential to change a game while still allowing for collisions at the plate.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Gomez says:

        Yeah, because there are no judgment calls for umpires and players in baseball as it stands, and certainly none with regard to home plate plays. Look at how many double plays are called when its doubtful the 2B or SS really touched the bag on the pivot.

        But really, if semantics are your big issue, then examine the wording and make it more airtight. If you need to tinker with the wording so that, say, the catcher must stay entirely out of the basepath, then okay.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  89. Keith_Allen says:

    “It was the 3rd base coaches fault that Posey got hurt.” – Josh Hamilton

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  90. Keith_Allen says:

    I agree that intentional contact at any base should be against the rules. Things like this should never happen. If it was an accident, I could understand, but that missile tackle has no business in the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  91. CircleChange11 says:

    The no plow rule in HS and youth sports results in situations where the runner has all the risks. Catchers deal out a great amount of punishment and it’s the runners knees and ankles that take the brunt. So, just removing the plow doesn’t reduce any risk, it just shifts it all to the runner.

    They either have to slide away from the plate and reach back or attempt some type of flying cartwheel over the top of the catcher.

    So, we’re left with a situation where catchers have to give up the plate and basically runners take a direct slide or keep it as is.

    By allowing catchers to block the plate creates these situations. If batters are called out for going out of their way to plow the catcher still likely results in runners taking their chances with a collision since they feel they’re going to be out anyway.

    If the vast majority of plays at the plate involve non-contact then a rule change will just reflect common practice. IMHO, most situations involve catchers trying a non-block tag and runners evading the catcher with a hook/swipe slide.

    The instances of full contact collisions are likely rare, just that a few high profile cases involve injuries.

    I suppose the data could show that most catchers do practice the non-block tag play and even more will/may do so.

    I’ve just been verbally skeptical that any rule change would significantly change the game. Most runners don’t take on catchers for obvious reasons, they’re usually stout and they wear gear.

    But, I did want to say you can’t allow blocking of the plate while prohibiting plowing. You just give catchers the ability to use their gear as a ‘weapon’, like what happens in HS ball.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  92. SaveTheCatchers says:

    From an earlier poster: “If it were Humberto Quintero who got hurt, this article wouldn’t have been written.”

    Well, he just got hurt on a similar play at the plate (though Quintero was blocking the plate completely) and probably with a similar end-result to his season.

    So while Quintero on his own may not have inspired this article, his injury just a few days after Posey’s gives some additional momentum for this issue to be looked at by MLB.

    There’s no reason that baseball cannot adapt to the changing times. The increased concern regarding concussions in all major sports has inspired a number of rule changes (even in baseball, the addition of a 7-day DL). MLB has the obligation to protect its product and its stars.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Garrett says:

      I support the increased notoriety of this aspect of player safety despite the “unfair” way it comes about. No one is interested in making the game safer until someone is hurt, preferably until the someone being hurt is 1) talented 2) marketable. Regardless, I made a prior comment about slides to disrupt double players equally being outlawed (It essentially Aki’s career, which is hopefully a far worse outcome than what happens to Posey). But caring about a league average 2B compared to a young All-Star catcher is hard to force.

      Regardless, increased player safety is good without caring how the issue comes about.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  93. CircleChange11 says:

    Pretty good discussion with both perspectives making good points and minimal chest thumping and posturing.

    Obviously I’ve thought and commented on this a lot. The key issue regarding collisions and injuries seems to me to be whether the catcher has the ball or not.

    When catchers have the ball and secure it they often seem to be able to face the runner, absorb the blow, tumble backwards on their butt/back and both guys walk away congratulating each other on hard nose play.

    The other scenario where the catcher gets plowed where he doesn’t have the ball is where the primary injury issue surfaces. Their focus is on the ball, they are not braced, and when their body is toppled, it rolls over knees and ankles that are often bent in vulnerable angles. They simply have very little influence over how their body tumbles after contact.

    I would need to check the rules and how they are enforced to make an educated statement.

    It seems to me that neither the catcher should be able to block the plate without the ball, nor should a runner be allowed to plow the catcher before he has the ball. That would eliminate the high risk injury plays, which some are deeming unnecesary, while still allowing the “Here I come — Bring it on” collisions where both players are ready for it.

    In regards to the injury situations, it seems most often when the catcher is plowed without the ball, and the have little control over their bodyweight which rolls over their ankle or knee … not unlike a runner’s knee or ankle (Robin Ventura) when they are forced to slide into a braced catcher’s shin guards. Joints are not made to absorb such force at awkward angles.

    Anyway, there’s often a lot of negativity in discussions like this, but I do want to commend the FG community on a really good discussion.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Garrett says:

      You seem to lack an understanding of how the human body absorbs impact whether “braced” or not.

      Well that coupled with a delusional view of how professional athletes without padding deal with full force collision.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Not really. If you see a blow coming, you “roll with” the hit. Wayne gretzky, boxers, pro wrestlers, all use that sort of technique to not get hurt. Even football players do it. If you’re blind sided because you’re trying to focus on the ball, then you aren’t prepared.

        Are you athletic at all? Have you ever been hit? There are instruction videos of how to block the plate and prepare for a collision without getting killed. You want your toes forward (why Posey was hurt, he wasn’t in position), hold the ball tight, try to take the blow in the shoulder and roll back. If your legs are twisted, that’s when injuries happen. Or if you lead with your head. Stuff like that. If you aren’t prepared, maybe your leg is behind you, maybe your head is in front of your body, all sorts of bad things can happen.

        These guys aren’t sissies, man the hell up and play the game. Maybe, like said, rule out collisions if the ball isn’t in the catcher’s hands.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        The key is if they can see the blow coming.

        When you’re in front of the plate, looking at the ball coming in …. you don’t see the blow coming … especially when someone goes out of their way to deliver the blow.

        When catchers have the ball, see the blow, they do often roll with it, and it’s no big deal.

        We’re primarily discussing collision situations where one player does not see it coming, does not have the ball, and puts them in a “defenseless” situation, even though the existence of catcher’s gear causes us to think they’re “protected”. They are protected … from the ball.

        When catchers have the ball, they generally do an outstanding job protecting themselves.

        IMO, in 30 years, we’ll look back on these type of plays (illegal by then) the same way we do runners being prohibited from sliding into second with their spikes high trying to kick the ball out of the glove. That type of slide seems ridiculous to us now, but was a common tactic in baseball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  94. Royal Exile says:

    I’m all for protecting players but there is a level of excitement that can’t be reproduced if the “I will run through a wall for my team to score this run” and the “I will stand on the tracks to prevent one” mentality is eliminated. There is nothing more exciting in baseball than a play at the plate. Every time there is a remote chance of one people are standing and warning anyone who might not be watching to pay attention b/c something crazy might happen. “PLAY AT THE PLATE!!!”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  95. CircleChange11 says:

    I have concerns with the future of catching, as do many other coaches. It starts in youth (and travel) baseball where runs scored on SB’s and wild pitches are out of whack. Considering the lack of control of young pitchers, the shorter bases, the catcher being “the goat”, and we’re already seeing the talented kids that are syuited for catching abondoning the position.

    It won’t be much longer until we see a lot of talented catching prospects (with help from their agents) with good hands, quick feet, strong arms, and a decent stick refusing to catch.

    We could be left with one of the most important defensive positions being manned by guys that can’t play anywhere else. The Jason Kendalls of the world unite.

    The amount of work it takes to be a good catcher, combined with the inherent unpleasantness of the position (heat, wear on the legs, foul tips, etc), just makes it incredibly difficult to replace a good/talented catcher. Given their role with the staff, just adds another aspect.

    IMHO, there’s already a shortage of talented catchers and situations like this are probably just going to add to that situation. That’s not good for the game, unless watching Gerald Laird and the like is your idea of entertainment.

    It will be interesting to see what teams do when they think they are drafting their catcher of the future, only to have him say “I don’t catch anymore.” This isn’t about Bryce Harper b/c that arrangement seemed mutual.

    The other option is what we’ve seen somewhat in the past, where catching becomes something like SS where it’s all D and no O, due to any catcher with a good bat moving to 3B/OF.

    Personally, I like it best when the talented guys play catcher. It’s an incredibly important position.

    Catchers, themselves, cannot avoid the collision plays on their own as we see with the Posey-Xousins play. Even when they are not blocking the plate and standing like a SS at 2B, a runner can plow if he decides it’s his beat move. So the idea that catchers can avoid the collisions or brace themselves for contact (while they’re trying to catch the ball) are erroneous.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  96. Antonio Bananas says:

    I think it’s stupid to put one of your best hitters at a position that is so demanding a full season is like 145 games. You put your squatty, tough, strong defense, “professional hitter” back there. Not a huge part of your offense. especially if they’re as athletic as posey seems to be.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Not if that’s where the player gives your team the best overall value.

      If you can get 5 WAR at catcher and that allows you to play someone else at 1B for 3 WAR, then that helps the team rather than putting the ex-catcher at 1B for 4 WAR and having a 1-2 WAR catcher.

      Teams want good hitters and athletic guys at C, because they are so rare. It’s a major advantage. Putting Joe Mauer at 1B decreases his value significantly.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matt says:

        You get 0 WAR for an injured player though, and reduced WAR for a catcher who is banged up but playing through injuries.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  97. Antonio Banans says:

    Circle, explain how a really good hitter, playing 145 games at Catcher, is more valuable than putting him at a position you have a replacement level player? If Posey plays like LF or something, he’ll play more games and probably not get injured as much. Some guys, like Brian McCann you can’t really put other places because I can’t see McCann being able to field other positions.

    It’s why Wil Myers and Bryce Harper were moved to the OF, it’s why there’s talk of moving Mauer.

    Not only that, but catcher’s deteriorate faster. 5 really good years or 10?

    Bottom line is it’s pretty stupid to put a key offensive spot at C unless it’s an absolute necessity.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      That’s a good point.

      Do we have statistical analysis on how many years a position change adds to the career of a former catcher?

      Bottom line is it’s pretty stupid to put a key offensive spot at C unless it’s an absolute necessity.

      Except that it’s much easier to find a good hitting LF than it is to find a good hitting C.

      Moving players away from catcher is not a new issue …. from Joe Torre to Todd Zeile and many others in between. But, they’re not usually “good” catchers. They’re usually good hitters that are playing catcher. A good defensive catcher that can hit is a major bonus to the team … like Hanley Ramirez at SS. Hanley Ramirez in RF is still very valuable, but not nearly as much as he at SS.

      Since teams are often primarily concerned with the 3-6 years they have the player signed for, they should be maximizing those contract years for their team’s value (IMO). The Twins are a little different situation in that they signed Mauer, essentially for the rest of his career, and he has already had 2 seasons interrupted by injury … so they definitely have interest in him playing well for the duration of their contract.

      But, your comment refers to having the catcher move to another position and replacing a replacement level player. That’s a different situation. If you move the catcher to that position, and the catcher is replaced by a replacement level catcher, then the WAR value could be diminished in the regard that a replacement level LF is a better hitter than a replacement level catcher.

      There has to be some good studies on this. I just haven’t really delved into this subject thoroughly.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  98. G-Air says:

    Sports is full of weaklings. Atheltes are getting bigger and faster and carved out of stone, yet are as fragile as eggs. It’s likely all these training and recovery potions they consume instead of real food. Maybe his leg wouldn’t have snapped if it wasn’t so brittle from consuming all those protein shakes.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  99. Hi there. Neat posting. There’s a trouble with the web page throughout ie, along with you may want to take a look at this… The particular browser could be the marketplace leader as well as a enormous element of persons will leave out your impressive publishing because of this problem.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>