Avoiding The Crash
MLB's latest attempt to protect it's players may ruin the integrity of the game. This time the brain trusts that be have decided that home plate collisions are an issue worth addressing. An issue certainly, however not a priority. The amount of brutal crashes at the plate from runners scoring at third is miniscule. In fact this really only became a major talking point after one of the league's stars, Buster Posey went down via collision in 2011. Regardless the reason, the outcome is the true issue. The last thing a sport like baseball, which is already at times is slow enough, is to be slowed any further. That's the only measurable result from Rule 7.13. In fact the rule it's safe is nothing more than a judgement call.
All that can and will be accomplished by this monstrosity of an attempt to protect anyone, is an increase in downtime as the Umpire Crew Chiefs review the replay. The rule itself is ridiculous enough without injecting more instant replay. Home plate collisions although dangerous are one of the most exciting moments in all of sports. Taking this albeit brutal portion of the game out or watering it down is a shame.
The fact is a base runner is far more likely to get into a collision at second base then home plate. The impact is severely less, however a runner sliding into second is often blatantly trying to take out the fielder. This causes for a ton of sprained ankles and other nagging leg related issues, as fielders and runners a like alter their path at full speed. Next year maybe Major League Baseball can conjure up a rule, requiring all fielders to wear pillows around their knees to protect them from sliding runners.
Instant replay should hold no place in baseball and neither should Rule 7.13. On the very basis that the rule is simply put a judgement call, there is no way that this can better the quality of the game in any facet.
In the 1960's a collision at home was quite common. In the 21st century athletes already have altered the game significantly. No longer do high priced pros sacrifice their bodies and maybe careers for a team win. Most base runners today already avoid a full out head to head assault. To pamper this style of play, by essentially creating an effort to eliminate collisions, is purely a further effort not to protect the players health but the leagues bottom line.
Healthy stars, equals healthy television ratings and ticket sales.
In short, this rule smells of incompetence. A clear way to keep the players aka products on the field, which ironically is not my gripe. The fact that this is again nothing more than a judgement call, that is facilitated through the usage of the dreaded instant replay, is the complain at hand.
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