With the San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey likely on the sideline for a while with his injury, many folks in and around MLB have begun to look at a possible rule change when it comes to plays at the plate. But in such a traditional game, should a tradition like barreling through a unsuspecting catcher be really be removed from the sport? In a word, absolutely.
Posey’s manager Jeff Berry has already reached out to Joe Torre, MLB’s leader of on-field operations, asking for him to look at possible adjustments to the rule. He also spoke to the players union about this issue as well; here’s a bit of what Berry had to say about it:
“You leave players way too vulnerable, I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey’s injury]. It’s stupid.”If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it’s a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It’s brutal. It’s borderline shocking."
Very good points.
Over at McCovey Chronicles Grant Bisbee makes some good points of his own, like the fact that plays like this are banned in college and enforced, the violence brings nothing to the game, and that many rule changes have gone through after they’ve hurt the Giants:
When the Giants won 103 games, they missed the playoffs. The next year baseball said, oh!, wild card! When the Giants had home-field advantage in the 1997 playoffs, that meant opening with two games on the road. That sucked. The next year, baseball shifted to the 2-2-1 format. Maybe another rule change will come a little too late for the Giants.
If you ask me this rule change is long overdue. Baseball is a tough game, but it’s also a gentlemen’s sport, and there is enough risk of injury as is. They’ve changed the rules for concussions, initiated the use of instant replay, so why not ban the catcher takeout? This to me is the equivalent of blind siding a quarterback after the pass is made or slide tackling a soccer player from behind, it just isn’t necessary.
Too bad we can’t flip on the Flux Capacitor and go back to last night and undo that terrible play at the plate. The best we can do now is make sure it never happens to anyone else again.