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WATCH: Incredible home plate collisions
Over the years, we’ve seen some incredible collisions at home plate, including one where San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey’s leg was broken by Marlins outfield Scott Cousins.
But one rule at a time, sports leagues are trying to reduce the risk for injury as greater emphasis is being put on player safety.
With Major League Baseball announcing Rule 7.13 on Monday, the goal is to eliminate “egregious” collisions at home plate.
• A runner may not run out of a direct line to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher, or any player, covering the plate. If he does, the umpire can call him out even if the player taking the throw loses possession of the ball.
• The catcher may not block the pathway of a runner attempting to score unless he has possession of the ball. If the catcher blocks the runner before he has the ball, the umpire may call the runner safe.
• All calls will be based on the umpire’s judgment. The umpire will consider such factors as whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate and whether he lowered his shoulder or used his hands, elbows or arms when approaching the catcher.
• Runners are not required to slide, and catchers in possession of the ball are allowed to block the plate. However, runners who do slide and catchers who provide the runner with a lane will never be found in violation of the rule.
Not everyone is a fan, including former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynksi.
“It’s one of those things, as a big-league catcher, I signed up for it,” he told USA Today. “You never want to see guys get hurt, and you never want to see guys go down because of it, but it’s part of the game you signed up for.
“It puts the umpires in a horrible spot,” Pierznyski said. “They not only have to decide whether the runner is safe or out, but did the catcher block the plate? He’s going to have to make a million different decisions.”
And while the goal is to cut down on violent home plate collisions, we can still enjoy some of these classics from past seasons:
A Pete Rose classic
Yadier Molina gets leveled
Buster Posey breaks his leg
He barrels over the catcher!
Will the rule protect umpires?
That time Pierzynski and Michael Barrett had some issues
Dioner Navarro takes a shot
Lou Piniella vs. Carlton Fisk