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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Matheny wishes new collision rule had more teeth

Major League Baseball’s attempt to enact a rule to protect catchers from injury and possible concussions in home-plate collisions resulted in some experimental legislation announced today. But some of the bite was taken out of it, as far as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was concerned.

“I did think we were making some pretty good progress and then the progress was stopped,” said Matheny. “After talking with people from the players’ association and with Major League Baseball, I think we have the same end game in mind, and that’s eliminating collisions altogether. It’s just pretty difficult to pull off at this time.”

For this year, the rule being implemented will prohibit the “most egregious collisions” at the plate. The rule states that a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher or anyone else covering the plate. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher, the umpire can call the runner out, even if the catcher loses possession of the ball.

Additionally, if a catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire can call the runner safe

Matheny said he realized the timing was short to come up with some sort of rule before the exhibitions started so that teams can practice tagging and sliding. But the Cardinals have been pro-active anticipating new legislation, and their catchers already have been instructed to and are practicing giving the runner the plate.

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:45 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mlb

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   1. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:48 AM (#4661913)
So the catcher is still allowed to stand in front of the plate and invite a collision if the ball gets there ahead of the runner? Am I reading that right?
   2. Brian Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4661917)
I imagine it's similar to the amateur rules that have been in place for at least a decade: a catcher who has the ball can stand in front of the plate and the runner in that case has to either give themselves up or slide. No crashing into the catcher. Or at least that is the way it should go, it sounds like they are backing off just when they ahd a chance to do it right.
   3. jacjacatk Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4661919)
NCAA and NFHS rules both prohibit collisions and work, and the vast majority of MLB players have spent time playing under one or the other of those rulesets (heck, a lot of the umpires have probably enforced one of those rulesets). Is it really that hard to just adopt the NCAA rule?
   4. DL from MN Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4661920)
It sounds like thie rule is the first step to give everyone a chance to adjust and the end game is the NCAA rule.
   5. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4661953)
Apparently the players association is the one who balked. Doesn't make much sense, but it seems that they were concerned about getting players trained properly in the new rules. As #4 said, hopefully this is just step one and step two comes next year.
   6. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4661956)
Am I correct in believing that these new "rules" are the same thing that was in place before? Just now they're telling the umpires to start enforcing them.
   7. Russ Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4662048)
Am I correct in believing that these new "rules" are the same thing that was in place before? Just now they're telling the umpires to start enforcing them.


What they're doing is spelling out actions of the catcher and the runner which now are clearly defined as interference/out of the baseline as opposed to trying to interpret whether a catcher blocking the plate without a ball is interference (or interpreting a runner going outside of the baseline to make contact with the catcher as going out of the baseline). So I'd say that it's trying to remove the interpretation of intent and extent from the equation... the new rules are pretty black and white (so it's more like a clarification of situations under an existing rule).
   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 25, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4662055)
Am I correct in believing that these new "rules" are the same thing that was in place before? Just now they're telling the umpires to start enforcing them.


OK, here's the change:

Before if a runner initiated contact with the catcher without directly heading to the plate, they were not out if the catcher dropped the ball. Now, they are.

Before, if a catcher stood directly in the line between the runner and the plate before receiving the throw, they were allowed to do that so long as they had the ball when the runner reached them. Now, the catcher cannot stand in that line until they have the ball, unless it is necessary for them to be there in order to field the throw. So instead of standing directly in the line while awaiting the throw, they have to field the ball ahead of or behind that area until they get the ball, and THEN they can get into the runner's path.
   9. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4662450)
I read headline as "Matheny wishes new collision rule was in place sooner so he would have more teeth (left)"
   10. ptodd Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4662459)
PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:48 AM (#4661913)
So the catcher is still allowed to stand in front of the plate and invite a collision if the ball gets there ahead of the runner? Am I reading that right?


Yup, but if the runner hits him with his shoulder or uses his arms to protect himself the runner could be called out for deviating from the plate, even if the tag is late, missed or the ball is jarred loose. I think.
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4662465)
Catchers should have to allow some lane to the plate.* Violations result in the runner being safe.

Runners should not be allowed to lead with their upper body. Violations result in the runner being out, and ejected.

If both things happen, runner is safe (since the plate blocking comes first), but still ejected.

It really shouldn't be that difficult to implement.

* Unless they have to be in the lane to field the ball.

   12. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4662470)
There's really no reason to have collisions anywhere in baseball. Hell, I got thrown out of a softball game last summer for running over the second baseman on a close forceout.
   13. bjhanke Posted: February 26, 2014 at 07:08 AM (#4662647)
What Matheny wants is a rule that says the catcher can never get in the straight line from the runner to the plate, and the runner MUST slide. Basically, he doesn't want runners crashing into Yadier Molina. Can't blame him there. - Brock Hanke
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 26, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4662667)
So the catcher is still allowed to stand in front of the plate and invite a collision if the ball gets there ahead of the runner? Am I reading that right?

Like at the other bases?
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4662715)
What Matheny wants is a rule that says the catcher can never get in the straight line from the runner to the plate, and the runner MUST slide.


The only time the catcher should be blocking the plate is when he has to be there to catch a throw. Other than that, that's what he wants. As do many of us here.

   16. DL from MN Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4662789)
At the other bases the runner trying to knock over the fielder is automatically out. That's why they don't try it.
   17. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4662808)
Hell, I got thrown out of a softball game last summer for running over the second baseman on a close forceout.

Good. In rec leagues, the rule should always be "Slide or get out of the way." If you can't (or won't) slide, you'll be out more often, but too bad for you, Twinkletoes.

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