Major League Baseball Team Owners Consider Final Approval on Banning Home Plate Collisions
Major league baseball has long seen injuries related to home plate collisions. Both Ray Fosse and Buster Posey are no strangers to this and were seriously injured trying to do their jobs at home plate. Posey’s collision resulted in a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments, which caused him to miss the rest of the 2011 season. Fosse’s collision resulted in a fractured and separated shoulder, which never healed properly and caused chronic pain. The new ruling to make home plate collisions illegal will help with these serious and long-lasting injuries.
Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee and general manager of the New York Mets, makes a clear statement, “This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen. One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents at home plate that affect players, both runners and catchers. And also kind of the general concern about concussions that exists not only in baseball but throughout professional sports and amateur sports today. It’s an emerging issue and one that we in baseball have to address, as well as other sports,” (MLB intends to ban home plate collisions by 2015: ESPN, December 2013).
Home plate collisions have resulted in many serious injuries over the years, both to catchers and runners. This new ruling is a long time coming and has been a long, thought-out process. A committee has been put into place that will be reviewing the actions of both the catcher and the runner. Those found breaking the rules will be fined and/or suspended. The final rules are still being determined but if either the catcher or the runner is in violation of the rules, they will be subject to disciplinary action (Official Rules: MLB, December, 2013).
Frank N. Darras, lawyer to the pros, responds to the new ruling: “A move like this follows recent lawsuit activity in other professional sports. Both the NFL and NHL were sued for concussion-related injuries and brain trauma incidents, respectively. Concerns for head injuries have risen due to how it’s impacting the injured player along with the sport itself. Should an athlete be injured, his life’s work, along with the potential income, is in jeopardy. High-limit disability insurance will help cover the cost of medical bills and the cost of living should a career be cut short.”
As the Boston Globe puts it, “Baseball is a game of skill and grace, not collisions,” (Boston Globe, 25 December, 2013). There are, however, many who object to this new rule handed down by the Playing Rules Committee, led by Sandy Alderson. Some think this ruling will lead to more changes down the road while others are grateful for lowering the costs associated with the health of the athletes.
“With the risk for serious injury in all major league sports, disability insurance is a necessity for athletes to cover their lost income or a career ending injury,” says Darras.