Saturday, October 19, 2013

No More Collisions

Over at ESPN, Buster Olney has a piece about why there's going to be a ban, sooner or later, on home plate collisions. This is, by and large, a good thing: It will likely reduce gruesome injuries like the one Buster Posey had a couple of years ago, it will remind people that the point is to touch home, not to pancake the catcher, and it will almost certainly reduce concussions. And, let's face it, those hits always occur when the runner's dead meat, and his only hope is to body-slam the ball out of the catcher's mitt. In other words, it's bad baseball.

But it means less contact, and thus fewer spectacular photo ops when a guy who's out by a couple of furlongs plows into a guy in armor. And a certain flavor - I'm pretty sure it's one of the weird ones from those Harry Potter jelly beans - of purist is going to decry this as part of the ongoing wussification of the game. And they'll trot out former players who angrily denounce the change as messing with tradition, or at least they'll try to. Because if they've been in enough home plate collisions like that, their argument will probably come out as "Fnurgle blargly oof."

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