MLB Ban on Home Plate Collisions Finalized
As America’s favorite pastime, baseball has a lot to be excited about. It is a game of patience as well as skill; strength as well as finesse. While a home run is a sure way to get fans on their feet, nothing beats a perfectly executed double play after the batter swings on a full count.
Of all the things that we love about baseball, home plate collisions don’t rank very high on the list. With collisions come injuries, and no fan wants to see a favorite player exiled to the DL until further notice. Besides, when we want to see athletes slam into one another, we watch our other favorite pastime: football.
After some deliberation beginning last year regarding the issue of home plate collisions it seems that the pending ban on plate collisions in Major League play will be passed in time for Spring Training gameplay.
Implementing the new rule during Cactus and Grapefruit League would allow umpires to become reaccustomed to calling obstruction at the plate, and give players time to adjust to sliding in for every home plate play.
Though the new ban is set to be enforced by strict fines and suspension policies, the ruling is expected to to be widely accepted in favor of player safety.
“This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen,” Alderson said in a December press conference last year. “One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents at home plate that affects players, both runners and catchers — and also the general concern about concussions that exists not only in baseball but throughout professional sports and amateur sports today. It’s an emerging issue and one that we in baseball have to address as well as other sports. So that’s part of the impetus for this rule change as well.”
The five weeks of Spring Training exhibition games are scheduled for both leagues through the month of March, with Opening Day officially on March 31st, 2014.