MLB Takes Step in Right Direction by Amending Home Plate Collision Rule

Russell Martin force out

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Less than three months after implementing it, MLB is altering its home plate collision rule. Although the change doesn’t eliminate the problem entirely, it’s a step in the right direction as it nullifies the rule on force plays at home plate.

We saw just how stupid the rule is during the game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night when L.A. outfielder Kole Calhoun slid into home after coming all the way around from first on an Albert Pujols line drive to center field. The throw home by Leonys Martin went wide, but Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish collected it and tossed it to Texas catcher Chris Gimenez in time to tag a sliding Calhoun at the plate.

A replay overturned the call as Gimenez was ruled to be blocking the plate, much to the dismay of baseball fans everywhere except those wearing red caps with the Angels’ logo on them.

Of course, this one wasn’t a force play, so it was a controversial call from the previous week that prompted this minor rule change.

During a Wednesday night contest between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, a force out at home was overturned because Pitt catcher Russell Martin was ruled to be blocking the plate.

What was he supposed to do, stand to the side and try to reach over and tag Reds runner Devin Mesoraco as he flies by for a run? The Pirates got robbed and thankfully MLB paid attention. Now hopefully the baseball big wigs will take a look at the Rangers-Angels call and see that the entire rule should be done away with altogether.

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