As noted in this handsome space, Cardinals manager (and former catcher) Mike Matheny wants to see MLB ban collisions at home plate. Now, Indians skipper Terry Francona has addressed the issue, and he sees things differently. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports his comments:
"First, let me preface it by saying how much respect I have for Mike. I do not agree. We talked about this last year. I don't think people have thought it through enough.
"You're going to get more baserunners injured," Francona said. "The game's going too fast. You've just got to let guys play. As an organization, if you want your guy to move, [that's fine]. But I don't think people are taking into account that if the [runner] is coming around third, the ball's coming, and the catcher is there, what if the catcher lunges at somebody, or blocks the plate, what's the runner going to do?
"You're going to get more baserunners hurt. It's unfortunate when a catcher gets hurt, but it's kind of part of the game. I guess every organization can do what they choose. I don't think you can ever institute a rule."
I certainly see Francona's point, but I think the home-plate collision plainly doesn't belong in baseball. As I've written before, it's a relatively recent phenomenon (Bill James has written about the absence of such collisions back in the 1920s and 1930s), and -- this is important -- it's already against the rules for the catcher to block the plate when not in possession of the ball. What say we enforce this for a change?
So Francona's right in that there's no need for new rules, but Matheny's right in that spearing the catcher has no place in the game.
Anyhow, take it away, Internet Tough Guys.
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