There are those facts of life for every professional sport that are usually just shrugged off as a ‘part of the game’. The NHL for example turns fights into mini-spectacles — a routine day in the league. In the NFL player safety has been a major issue as players cry foul over the ‘babying’ of the league while keeping the game as purified as possible. But when it comes to stomping out a game’s quirks it just may be the MLB that comes out on top.
That’s because home plate collisions are set to be outlawed, and sources say the proposed rules have a strong chance of being voted in. This news out of the Winter Meetings in Orlando comes as a slight surprise as Major League Baseball has sought to become more open to improving the game. As a result of the new rule catchers will not be allowed to block home plate, runners will not be permitted to target catchers and questions on blocking and targeting will be reviewed if necessary while violations of the ban will be subject to discipline.
This marks a major step forward in advancing the game of baseball into the modern era. So much of baseball is about keeping the game intact even as the outcry for enhanced instant replay grows louder. Umpires have botched calls in recent years, and now that the steroid era is largely over MLB has done itself a favor by possibly implementing these new rule changes.
With a decision likely to be backed by the players’ union as well, it’s a sign that MLB may not be so stodgy after all.