By Kevin Aherne
Much like the check in hockey, or the blindside sack in football; baseball's home plate collision is a very exciting, yet violent, part of the game. Now, however, Major League baseball has announced their intention to do away with the physicality of a "play at the plate."
Not only does this change the way America's pastime has been played for more than a century, it can change the course of the season as well. Not only will in-game calls will be subject for reversal based on interference, the league can also impose suspensions and fines after the fact for violations.
Yes, losing Buster Posey for the entire 2011 season was an unfortunately loss for both the San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball, but it is not a sound argument to altering the rules of the game. On the other hand, the potential for dozens of multi-game suspensions of key players is good enough reason not to.
Baseball, don't regulate to the lowest common denominator. Don't cower to the pressure to make the game "safer." Collisions and crashes will happen, whether punishment looms or not.
The rule change might decrease these hard impacts, which happen very infrequently, and lessen instances of head trauma. What is not accounted for, however, is the likelihood for a major spike in minor injuries, specifically to arms and legs, resulting from sliding into an "armored" catcher.
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