Baseball to Stamp Out Home Plate Collisions

MLB looks at new rules to mitigate concussion risk
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2013 12:06 AM CST
Baseball to Stamp Out Home Plate Collisions
In this Sept. 27, 2006, photo, Los Angeles Dodgers' Delwyn Young, left, collides with Colorado Rockies catcher JD Closser during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Denver.    (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Baseball is set to become a safer—though critics say duller—sport with moves to eliminate violent collisions at home plate. Major League Baseball's rules committee, concerned about concussions and other injuries, has voted to take steps to end pile-ups no later than 2015. Under the planned rule changes, catchers will no longer be allowed to block home plate and runners won't be allowed to target catchers, sources tell ESPN. The changes could be introduced as soon as next season if the players' union approves.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, helped make the case for rule changes to MLB execs, the New York Times reports. "The way these catchers are getting speared, they don’t have a chance," he said. "I think it’s better to be proactive before we carry a guy off the field paralyzed and think, 'Why didn’t we change this rule?'" But traditionalists are upset, including Pete Rose, who ruined catcher Ray Fosse's career by injuring him in the 1970 All-Star Game, the New York Daily News finds. "Just let them play the game, will you please?" he said. (More baseball stories.)

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