With the 2013 season winding down, plans for improving baseball over the winter are already starting. Last season saw the Houston Astros switch leagues and the expansion of replay, but collisions at home plate will be a hot topic this winter.
Giants catcher Buster Posey was run over in 2011 and that started the discussion about whether or not catcher’s should be able to block the plate. However, according to ESPN.com baseball analyst Buster Olney, look for the topic to be discussed at the general manager’s meeting this winter:
At this point, I don’t know who would argue to keep it, or what their argument would be, said one team official who believes general managers will address the topic at their meetings next month. There is no reasoned argument to keep it [in the game].
Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny have been very outspoken about the issue and the reason it’s come up yet again is after Game 5 of the ALCS. Red Sox catcher David Ross was coming home against Tigers catcher Alex Avila and the two of them collided at the plate, knocking Avila out of the game and injuring his knee. Olney continued speaking to that baseball official that that play might put the icing on the cake:
Ross did nothing wrong, because that’s how everybody expects that play to go. But there is no place [in the game] to be raising an elbow into somebody’s head or neck to knock the ball out. It’s just dumb [for baseball].
It’ll be interesting to see what type of solution comes of this as it’s clear that major league baseball is taking the same steps that the NFL and NHL are taking in player safety.
In case you missed it, here’s Adrian Gonzalez’s “Mickey Mouse” antics in the NLCS!