Plate collisions to be discussed

Updated: November 13, 2013, 10:43 AM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

A discussion about changes aimed to greatly reduce home plate collisions is expected to take place next week in Orlando, Fla., where general managers will meet.

[+] EnlargeChase Utley, Dioner Navarro
Brian Garfinkel/Getty ImagesGMs are expected to discuss how home plate collisions can be reduced, according to sources.

Sources say that a growing number of team executives are strongly in favor of change, especially in light of developed medical information about concussions and a refined understanding of the cost of injuries resulting from collisions -- to the players involved and the clubs.

"I think we've learned a lot from what's going on in the NFL," said one club official, referring to the lawsuits that former players have filed against the league.

Many club executives believe there is so much sentiment in favor of change that they will advocate the immediate adoption of rules used at the amateur levels. Before 2011, some team officials had already privately advised their catchers not to block the plate, but the conversation about a rule change gained momentum after San Francisco's Buster Posey had his left leg shattered in a collision in May of that season.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Oakland GM Billy Beane were among the first to call for changes on the play, and in the past year they have been joined by the likes of St. Louis manager Mike Matheny and former managers Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland.

"It's time," one general manager said recently.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

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