NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There has been plenty of emphasis on player safety in football in recent years, with the NFL instituting new rules that have changed the game significantly.
It appears that a heightened focus on player safety is trickling down to Major League Baseball.
They’ve been around as long as the game itself, but according to ESPN, home-plate collisions will likely be banned — sooner rather than later — from baseball.
“At this point, I don’t know who would argue to keep it, or what their argument would be,” one team official told the network. “There is no reasoned argument to keep it (in the game).”
On Thursday night, in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, Tigers catcher Alex Avila blocked the plate against Red Sox catcher David Ross. The result of the hard hit? Avila suffered a strained patellar tendon in his left knee.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland — who stepped down on Monday — is as old-school as they come, yet he admitted that it’s time to rid the game of home-plate collisions, according to ESPN.
“Both guys were out by a mile,” a team official told ESPN in regard to the play prior to the Tigers being eliminated. “Now the Tigers may have lost their catcher. With catchers dropping like flies all over the place with concussions, it’s dumb. 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).”
According to the network, team officials believe that, in the future, baserunners will be forbidden from targeting catchers, and will be allowed a clear path to home plate.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a former major-league catcher, is in favor of the rule change, according to ESPN. San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy has also stated publicly that home-plate collisions should be banned.
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