MLB to Ban Home Plate Collisions

Major League Baseball announced today that it had approved a ban of home-plate collisions where a runner attempts to knock the ball loose from a catcher. The deal still needs MLBPA approval to be official, and probably won’t be in play until the 2015 season.

As Matt Snyder of Eye on Baseball points out, this could lead to the enforcement of obstruction rules at the plate. Runners will have to slide into home when a catcher has a ball. However, the current rules state that catchers can’t block the base line when they don’t have the ball, even though that is common in baseball right now.

Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez isn’t a fan of the new rule change.

It is an exciting play when there’s a collision at the plate, although I feel that MLB is considering the injury risk involved here. The Cardinals will almost certainly benefit from this rule change, since it seems like Yadier Molina gets injured every year in a home plate collision.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Ian Rothermund

    This should be entirely on the catchers. You wouldn’t have to ban collisions at home plate if the catchers would just get out of the way. This is a rule created to help protect catchers, but it’s really the catchers that put themselves in harms way. They could start by simply stepping aside and avoiding the hit, or playing a less dangerous position. Tony Sanchez gets it, too bad everyone does not. Maybe they could enact a rule where players wouldn’t even have to run the bases; it could be like Wii rules. The better the hit, the more bases runners are automatically allowed to take. That would help balance the playing field between slow/fast and good/poor base runners, just like balancing the playing field and making it easier for catchers that don’t know how to properly position themselves, side step and tag a runner as they go by, or take a hit.

    • Y2JGQ2

      Absolutely agree. Ban blocking the plate and the problem is solved. The fielder is not allowed to block any other base and the catcher has protection, stay out of the way until you catch the ball then you can block it. i’m not sure why they make this that difficult

  • wlarch

    where the dress

  • Y2JGQ2

    Now runners have to be concerned about getting hurt sliding into a armored knight at home plate. Hardly fair

  • Gallatin

    Really surprised nobody has talked about this from the concussions/class action law suits other sports are struggling with. This is clearly just a lip service rule change to reduce potential liability for MLB relating to concussions.

  • Monkshot

    I fully understand the business sense of this, but it’s ridiculous. I’m pretty sure most catchers wouldn’t want this rule changed.

  • IC Bob

    Maybe I am the odd one here but I like the rule. never liked seeing the catcher get plowed over. I have seen to many guys get hurt and some guys careers get ruined. Enforce obstruction kick out the guy who blows up the catcher with the ball.

  • CalipariFan506

    I hate running over catchers because it reminds me of Ty Wigginton and I hate everything that guy has ever done or stands for.

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