10 Wide-Ranging Opinions on MLB’s New Home Plate Collision Rules
What People Around MLB Are Saying About the New Home Plate Collision Rules
MLB got people talking this week with its announcement of rule 7.13. What is rule 7.13? It's a change to the current home plate collision rules, designed to take intentional plowing of the catcher out of the game. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? There are lots of wide-ranging opinions on the new rule.
In this slideshow we'll take a look at some some notable opinions from around baseball. Some of these guys are former catchers, some are current day catchers and others just have a vested interest in the matter.
The thing to keep in mind with rule 7.13, is that it's still only an experimental rule. Based on how things go this year, it could be adopted full time starting in 2015. I think that's the right approach to this subject. Home plate collisions have been a topic of discussion for awhile now, and with the ever-changing culture of safety in pro sports, it was only a matter of time before MLB did something about it.
When you get right to the core of rule 7.13, it's really all about keeping catchers and runners safe. The rule is designed to take intentional plowing of the catcher out of the game. The focus will now be back on scoring the run. Nothing more, nothing less -- just score. But of course, some will argue that it will be impossible to score on some plays without plowing the catcher.
One thing is for sure -- the umpires are going to have 'lots of fun' enforcing the new rules. So with all that in mind, let's take a look at what baseball personalities are saying about the new home plate collision rules:
Joe Girardi - For It
"The biggest thing is, if you have a place to slide, you really need to slide, we don’t want any of these unnecessary collisions, because we want our players on the field, and we don’t want the health issues to come back and haunt players 10, 20, 30 years from now. We just don’t. I think it’s a good rule, and I think it’s a really good step in the right direction."
Union Chief Tony Clark - Unsure
"Moving forward we're going to have to pay attention to what happens. I think the title of the press release said 'experimental.' That's not an accidental word. Players are concerned that the new rules protect the catchers, but not the runners."
A.J. Pierzynski - Not What He Signed Up For
"I disagree with it. I understand why they're doing it, but next, they're going to tell us that you can't slide into the guy at second base. It's one of those things, as a big-league catcher, I signed up for it. You never want to see guys get hurt, and you never want to see guys go down because of it, but it's part of the game you signed up for."
Buck Showalter - In Favor
"The big thing we are trying to eliminate, and I wholeheartedly support it, is the cheap-shot collision. (A) guy, completely exposed, doesn’t have the ball, and some guy hunts him. We’ve had it happen with Matt (Wieters) a few times; if you remember, we were real unhappy about it."
Tim McCarver - Rule Doesn't Go Far Enough
"It’s a step forward, but I think it’s an incomplete rule, because it doesn’t protect the catcher above the shoulders, that is what needs to be addressed, to protect the catcher so he doesn’t get his head (injured). Like a lot of rules, you’re going to have to see how it’s enforced. But the key thing for me is that it prevents concussion."
David Freese - Just Like Breaking Up Double Play
"You can slide and go in hard. It’s just like breaking up a double play. You can still get after it. Take out the feet. I think that’s perfectly fine."
Buster Posey - Thinks It's a Good Rule
"What I take away from it is, it eliminates the malicious collision, which is a good thing. When I look at it, I don’t see it as being that drastic of a change. I think the hardest part is going to be for the umpires being able to make a judgment call sometimes on when there is a collision on what the intent of the runner was. It’s a good rule. We shouldn’t be going out to injure the catcher. We should be going out to score the run."
Clint Hurdle - Okay With It
"Good timing, I guess. But you know what, the 'lane' thing has always been in the rules, (it) just wasn't enforced."
Jonathan Lucroy - Not in Favor
"I’m a conservative-type guy. I like keeping things the way they are, although I do understand where they’re coming from. I understand the owners who voted on it want to maintain their investments, and catchers are investments. So are the players who hit catchers. I understand the importance of (avoiding) concussions. I get it. It’s just really hard to break old habits. Yesterday, we were thoroughly confused, trying to figure out ways to do it. There were so many issues as far as, 'Will this be legal? Would that be legal?'"
Yan Gomes - Relieved
"We're at a standstill position, and no matter how big or how small anybody is, the guy that's coming in is going to win the battle. So I'm glad that at least that is gone. Kind of like a play coming in from right field, I don't have my eyes on the runner, so if I'm in front of home plate, they're not coming out and letting me have it."
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