MLB Rules Committee bans home plate collisions

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Rules Committee has decided that hitting the catcher will now be illegal.

A short while ago at the winter meetings, the MLB Rules Committee met and resolved to make home plate collisions illegal in Major League Baseball. This rule is not so much a rule change as a firm resolution and an addendum, as the catcher blocking home plate was, per rule 7.06(b), defined as obstruction but rarely called. The addendum will come in the form of players being required to slide in a close play at home so as to avoid collisions.

Interestingly, the rule will be reviewable, as the penalty will likely be an ejection should a player be found guilty of forcing a collision. This adds to the list of plays that will be reviewable for next season. The rule change will still need to be approved by the MLBPA before it is put into practice.

While some people may cry that this takes away a more exciting play in baseball, none can argue that it has its considerable dangers as well. In the past few years, notable incidents with players like Buster Posey, Brian McCann, and Alex Avila have shown the potential for players to get hurt by hitting the catcher. With the recent focus on concussions in other professional sports leagues, it seems that MLB is just taking a step to catch up with the times.

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