The topic was Johnson’s stance on plate collisions between runners and catchers, and whether he felt baseball’s rules needed to be amended to take away the inherent injury risk associated with such violent clashes of irresistible forces and immovable objects.
Johnson’s take on the subject was pretty simple. He called runners ramming catchers blocking the plate “clean, hard-nosed baseball” and placed himself squarely in the old-school camp of baseball lifers who see no reason to change rules that really don’t need changing.
“Shoot, take it too far,” Johnson said disdainfully. “Now guys are wearing padding. Now the halfback (in football) can’t lower his head and run over the defensive back. When are you going to stop it? Sometimes, things happen. We don’t need any more rules as far as I’m concerned.”
...“It’s part of baseball,” he said. “I ran over two catchers - more than two catchers - but they messed me up more than I messed them up. I had to have my labrum repaired for a guy named Duane Josephson and then a guy named Larry Cox ducked and there went a couple ruptured discs. So, in reality, I’m not really worried about the catcher. Seems like the other end of it gets it (worse).”
...“There’s always a few guys that get a reputation, a la Mike Scioscia that comes to mind from my era, who had a reputation for blocking the plate whether they had the ball or not,” Johnson said. “But guys are getting a little bigger and it’s a little more dangerous. A guy coming 20 mph hits you and it could be your ankle. But if you’re in proper position and going hard, the chances of getting hurt are slim and none. You usually get hurt when you’re trying to do something and not in position.”
Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:22 AM | 47 comment(s)
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