Every offseason, Major League Baseball decides on rule changes for the upcoming season, and already there are two that have been discussed that will drastically change the way the game is played. The first rule change will be the ability for managers to challenge plays, like head coaches do in football, which expands instant replay from just home run calls. The second rule change is that MLB is outlawing home plate collisions. Still, these have to be approved by the MLBPA and the owners, but no more charging the catcher will not only protect the backstop but also alter the way runs can be scored. And in the New York Yankees‘ instance, Brian McCann will no longer police the league like he and his Atlanta Braves teammates did last year.
The Braves famously seemed to be the enforcers of baseball etiquette last year, getting in scuffles with numerous opposing teams. The most notable feud was against the Miami Marlins when their rookie pitcher, Jose Fernandez, watched a ball fly off his bat for his first career homer and McCann impeded his way to step on home plate which ended with the benches clearing. It is true that Fernandez showed poor protocol in his final appearance of the season, but the Braves really don’t have the right to say what he did was wrong — that responsibility should come from the players in his own dugout.
The point I’m trying to make is that when the Braves became the rule enforcers of baseball last year, McCann was one of the leaders of their crusade. And to me it was really off-putting. I like McCann as a player, but telling players on other teams how to act is out of line. With this new rule change, there will be less confrontation between him and his adversaries on close plays at home. Hopefully, this plus other veteran leadership on the Yankees will deter him from thinking that he is a super trooper making sure that baseball law is adhered to.