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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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You'll see more plays like this at the plate, instead of collisions, if baseball changes its rules.
You'll see more plays like this at the plate, instead of collisions, if baseball changes its rules. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

MLB scores with ban on collisions at home plate

I realize I'm going to sound like a hypocrite here, but I think Major League Baseball is moving in the right direction in banning collisions at home plate.

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have just "officially negotiated the addition of Rule 7.13, covering collisions at home plate, on an experimental basis for the 2014 season" this afternoon.

According to a statement from both parties, "In 2014, the rule being implemented by MLB and the MLBPA will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate."

It was just two years ago that I was extolling the awesomeness of former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel's vicious home plate collision. I even embedded videos of some other great ones.

But just because I like seeing them doesn't mean they shouldn't be banned.

It is the job of a league to protect the players playing in it, and to me, this is an unnecessary part of the game that should be legislated out.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin disagreed, and said as much when he joined MLB Tonight on the MLB Network and said, "I don't necessarily like it. Don't take away instincts from the players playing the game."

Melvin kept it simple.

"If you don't want a collision, you don't have to have a collision."

I get that. A catcher could move out of the way.

But really, depending on the situation, they're not going to.

This move will prevent unnecessary injury. It's one thing for Carlos Gomez to go careening into a wall to make a catch, or for Juan Uribe to dive into the stands for a foul ball (yup, I just pulled a 2005 Chicago White Sox World Series reference. You think Derek Jeter was the only one to do that?).

A defense can still accomplish its objective – tagging the runner out – without putting the catcher or the runner in harm's way.

While this type of play doesn't happen often, it can lead to serious injury for both parties. Why give these guys the option? Ban the collision, and I guarantee you no one even thinks about it again once the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day.

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