Time to ban collisions at home
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- An important voice has joined a growing chorus of people in the game calling for rule changes that would effectively ban home plate collisions. St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny -- who was a big league catcher for 13 seasons -- announced he had changed his mind and now wants collisions legislated out of the sport.
From Matthew Leach's story:
"I know the league wants to do the right thing and I know Joe [Torre] does a great job," Matheny said. "So that's my prelude. "But I do believe that this game will get to the point where there will no longer be a collision at the plate. And I am 100 percent in support of that." Matheny framed it primarily as a risk-reward matter, explaining that any increase in the entertainment value from collisions is outweighed by safety concerns.
"I'd just love to hear the rebuttal," Matheny said, "because what I've personally witnessed was enough for me to change my mind. It actually took me a little longer 'till I got to the realization of the risk we're putting these guys in -- and the runner, too. The runner is stuck in a spot sometimes where if he doesn't do it, he feels like he's let his team down. Take it out of their hands. This isn't a collision sport. There's enough of a physical grind with guys being out there for 162 games. We've got the physical aspect of this game. It doesn't need to include that one spot."
For Matheny, this might be a little bit more personal, because he's a longtime catcher and had to retire because of concussion symptoms himself, and last year he saw his own star catcher, Yadier Molina, get blasted in what was regarded as a clean play.
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