Posted October 19, 2013

Report: MLB likely to ban home plate collisions after discussions this winter

MLB
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Miguel Cabrera’s plow into David Ross was one of two home plate collisions that occurred during ALCS Game 5. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

There is a growing sentiment within Major League Baseball that the league will soon ban home plate collisions, ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting.

Officials with teams outside of the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers — who experienced two such collisions during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday — told Olney that the change is “inevitable” and “could come swiftly.”

Recent injuries, including the strained knee ligament that forced Tigers catcher Alex Avila out of Game 5, and the recent swell of information regarding concussions has led to the shift in belief, according to the report.

“At this point, I don’t know who would argue to keep it, or what their argument would be,” said one team official who believes general managers will address the topic at their meetings next month. “There is no reasoned argument to keep it [in the game].”

When asked about the topic after Game 5, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland became the latest to say that he is in favor of change, and that he believes there will be change. Leyland is one of the 14 members of commissioner Bud Selig’s advisory committee.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose catcher Buster Posey missed most of the 2011 season after breaking his ankle in a collision, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny have been two of the more vocal proponents of the ban.

VERDUCCI: Time has come to make runners plowing over catchers illegal


30 comments
laurielynn78
laurielynn78

Are they going to outlaw catcher's blocking the plate too? It would seem to the only fair solution.

Marc1017
Marc1017

I thought Men played baseball. And as such we men like to play hard. No one forces us to play. We play because we like the sport and competition and the physicality of it all. 

So when someone tries to pussify the sport, then why play? Sometimes you should just put your big boy panties on and play baseball. What would Ty Cobb say?

William27
William27

only a horses rear end would support allowing home plate collisions

its time to ban them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MarkCalasade
MarkCalasade

I'm no fan of athletes getting injured but neither am I a fan of changes like this one. I stopped watching the NFL because the changes put in place drastically changed that game. I will do the same thing should fundamental changes occur that alter the fabric of baseball.

oasis1994
oasis1994

Pretty soon all sports are going to be touch with no hitting at all. This is unreal. What is next, no more throwing at a batter that is crowding the plate with gear on that sticks out over the plate?

How about these stupid GMs stop paying athletes millions. This is a game and the more rules you make the worse you make the game. I no longer like watching the NFL because of this. 


MatthewPratt
MatthewPratt

No blocking the plate. Just like any other base. Can you imagine if the first baseman could block first base?

James C
James C

This is way past a long time coming. MLB is the ONLY level that still allows this. Every other level of baseball has gone to a "you don't have to slide, but you must avoid contact rule". 

With that said, there needs to be a clear defensive rule put in place, much like is in place in other levels of baseball and softball. If you don't have possession of the ball, you can't legally block the block. If you block the plate (base) without possession of the ball, it is obstruction and the runner is awarded the base. 


If MLB wants to avoid these collisions, and they should, they need to prevent catchers who don't have possession of the ball from blocking the plate. You can't block the plate if you are ready to catch it. Catch it, then get in position to make the play. 

What I have never been able to understand is why the running over the catcher has been allowed, but if the same play happens at first, second or third base, it would be an out for interference. 

JimDonahue
JimDonahue

Makes sense, why do we need serious injuries to make the game, any game, "interesting.People go to NASCAR races hoping to see wrecks, to boxing matches to see  people get beat to a pulp or even worse brain damage. Basketball players push shove gouge kick, knee each other in the privates to get a free throw, With the exception of Football which is just a pushing shoving match with giants wearing all kind of protective gear, all violence and violent physical contact should be banned with career ending penalties  And Pro Hockey? Just a fist fight on skates, If you need that kind of entertainment to need to go to the Nut Doctor.

gamecock4life
gamecock4life

Stupid if they do it... catcher in the way... needs to get out of the way... man up.

TheBigStroonzo
TheBigStroonzo

Hey MLB, cool, and it only took you as long as what it seems to take to finish a MLB game, 40 years.

PaulMeyerhoefer
PaulMeyerhoefer

So if home plate collisions leading to injuries are a bad thing why did it take 43 years to talk about banning them. Pete Rose blew up Ray Fosse in the 1970 All Star game and effectively ended Fosse's career. No discussion of a ban then. 

Alex1111
Alex1111

Let's see: pitchers won't throw inside anymore because hey, this is a million dollar fraternity. You don't see many guys going hard to break up a double play anymore, of course.  Now this. Sports are becoming unwatchable because of the incredible amount of dollars these prima donnas are making. Pete Rose ran over catcher Ray Fosse 43 years ago in an all-star game and essentially ended Fosse's career. All these years later, we have the motion to ban collisions. Yeah. Makes perfect sense.

MattHaynes
MattHaynes

SO when the catcher blocks the plate, the runner should just stop and say "Ok I am out"???? If you don't want to get hurt, don't block the plate, 'nough said.

JosephFraser
JosephFraser

I'm ok with this as long as they make it illegal for catchers to block the plate. 


SPHeroid
SPHeroid

@Marc1017

 It's not allowed at any other base......

Why should it be allowed at home plate?.......

Oh, Tradition...So were spit balls.....

Marc1017
Marc1017

@William27 yeah lets pussify this sport too.  Isnt it enough football is a game for sissies. I thought men played these games?

RichMondy
RichMondy

@oasis1994 Sky is falling, much? Other than gratuitous violence and injury, what is the upside to collisions? They aren't necessary. If a catcher blocks the plate without having the ball, award the run.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

@oasis1994 Excellent thinking! And what's next after that? Padding on outfield walls? Batting helmets? Dugout railings? What a bunch of wimps these players are, eh? 

We want more broken bones and concussions, by god!

Michael10
Michael10

Plays at first are force plays, not tag plays; there's no need to block the bag. The runner can't slide under or hook around the defender to avoid the out. As long as a runner only has to touch the plate rather than occupy it, the defender should be able to block it.

Michael10
Michael10

Not allowing a catcher to be in position when he receives the throw basically awards the vast majority of these plays to the runner. What if first basemen had to catch the ball before stepping on the bag? If you're going to change the rule, you've got to make adjustments on both ends.

Michael10
Michael10

Fosse wasn't a $180MM catcher. Nobody cared...

SanityClause
SanityClause

@MattHaynes Buster Posey was not blocking the plate and got wrecked anyway, with no punishment. There should be consequences. Bottom line at ANY base, including home: If the fielder has the ball, he can block the base. If the fielder doesn't have the ball, it's obstruction. 

FDowney
FDowney

@MattHaynes Let me see: if a fielder is blocking second base, your options are being out, trying to slide around him, or trying to get into a rundown. Same thing if a fielder is blocking third base. Why is home plate different?

FDowney
FDowney

@JosephFraser Is it illegal for the third baseman to block third base? No, it is not. Is it legal for the runner to slam into him? No, it is not.

RichMondy
RichMondy

@Michael10 How does a runner score if a catcher is in his way and doesn't  have the ball yet?

Michael10
Michael10

@RichMondy @Michael10 Same way he does now -- over, under, around, through. If the catcher has to wait at the corner of the plate for the throw like a first baseman and then turn to find a runner who can jump, slide or hook his way onto the plate -- without the need to maintain contact, as required when advancing to second or third -- you might as well concede all such plays to the offense...