Jump to content

Should there be a rule change about running into the catcher?


Hotcorner
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yes of course this is only coming up because a star player is possibly out for the year.... ESPN certainly wasn't all over it last season with Brett Hayes.

 

But setting that aside for a moment, should there be a change in the way this play is called?

 

There does seem to be a bit of a disconnect.... there is really no other instance in baseball where this sort of thing takes place. Sliding into 2nd hard to break up a double-play... ok maybe, but you still can't go barreling into the shortstop to try & get him to drop the ball. Here you have guys running absolutely full steam into a catcher who is concentrating on catching the ball and potentially very vulnerable.

 

And I am not going on about softening up the game. I get it. I like the rules the way they are actually. I'm not sure if I would prefer a rule change or not, just want to spark some discussion.

 

And let's try not to focus solely on the Posey play here. Think about when Hayes got demolished last season. It happens plenty of times. People then want to talk about was this one a clean hit or a dirty hit, etc, etc. (ESPN's got a "was Cousins hit a clean play" poll up and actually 38% say no???)

 

So as a fan of a team, is it okay with you if your outfielder makes a bullet throw to home, beats the runner by 3 steps, but then he goes flying into the catcher, dislocates his shoulder, and the ball happens to trickle out of his glove and you lose the game? Yes right now you just shrug your shoulders and say "hey it's part of the game". Fine, but should it be?

 

Why should that aspect be a part of baseball? Being able to hold onto the ball when getting hit by a 220 pound guy running full speed ready to cream you while you're looking the other way? Where else in baseball does that occur? Or is it just a part of home plate and we're accustomed to it by now? Pete Rose in the All-Star game & all that?

 

Again, I wouldn't push for a rule change personally, I'm fine with things the way they are. But I think it's at least worth some discussion. Maybe the biggest problem is there's probably no middle ground they could reach, you either allow it or ban it completely. Can't really see where there's any middle ground here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest

Catchers don't have to block the plate. They have the choice to put themselves at risk of physical harm to save one run. Let's leave it up to them to decide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and of course if the catcher is down the base path towards 3rd and you can't reach home plate without mowing him over, then you have no choice... so I'm not touching that.

 

But in cases where they aren't really in your way, it's basically a case of "the ball is going to beat me there so I'm going to take you out". True you don't have to block the plate, but then you're giving the runner an extra advantage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting this hotcorner, I have been watching MLBNetwork all night and all they are talking about is "the play" from last night, the thought of a rule change and what not, the broadcasters from the Colorado vs. Arizona game have mostly sighted the obvious, it's part of the game, obviously if this wasn't Posey it wouldn't be talked about near as much, many people don't even know what happened with Hayes last year.

 

I say who cares what a players value is, just because Posey is worth more to his team doesn't mean we should ONLY NOW start to protect players because we don't want our "All-Stars" getting hurt. Protection should be for every player not just for the more known ones, if baseball in fact is going to go down that road and look to keep catchers more safe, which I personally don't think will happen and is unnecessary.

 

I feel like Bochy overreacted a bit as a coach, but don't fault him because I would have probably done the same thing if i was in that situation. So you ask is a rule change needed? I would say no. Most of the time we won't have to worry about Nyjer Morgans playing the game dirty like he did last year, yes I know you could say "well you're just biased because Cousins is on the Marlins" no because iirc, in the Hayes play last year Hayes wasn't even in the right position to make a play and Nyjer's lunge at him was unintentional and not necessary when trying to score, plus the lack of class he showed the next day, and his other extracurricular activities that year.

 

To be honest, I am surprised this has gotten as big as it is with the media, but yea the media will do that, when it's a big name player.

 

Hayes/Nyjer http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11578087

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There should be a poll on this thread! =)

 

my vote is no, don't change anything.

 

beecauusee these plays are always incredibly exciting and I like to watch them, particularly when they rule in your favor. It's never pleasant when anyone gets hurt, but that's anything.

 

When we ask..."Why should that aspect be a part of baseball?..." I feel like that question is answered in the next sentence.. "Being able to hold onto the ball when getting hit by a 220 pound guy running full speed ready to cream you while you're looking the other way?" I think that's exactly why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually expecting a lot of vitrol from Giants fans - but they've been surprising level headed on all of this ...... disapointed for sure, but not necessarily all short memory (well at least the ones who were there before they lifted the trophy...)

 

I've seen them throw out a couple examples of giants being involved in such plays where it's worked out well for them and more than one has mentioned how their season ended in 2003 and understanding the importance of every game

 

given that the game was between two competative teams in extra innings and the play was a "baseball play" there doesn't seem to be that much anger

 

that only leaves the question of whether such a play should be in baseball .... while I agree that it's only being brought up due to who was injured, it doesn't make the discussion less valid

 

as for the actual discussion, i don't know how you would change it to even it all out .... a play at the plate isn't like any other play so it's really hard to draw comparisons

 

the catcher is geared up and usually has low leverage - however, he is very vulnerable to the throw and positioning that his teamates put him in .... not to mention the guy coming down the line is carrying all the momentum .... there are no crash rules at other levels, but a professional game should be a little different and there is definitely a lot more on the line with more developed athletes (for better or worse)

 

I think all you can really do is have it where if a player is blocking the path to the base the runner has a right to attempt to make the play to the base, even if it means going through the defensive player ...... if the defensive player is off the line then the base runner can't deviate from the line to make contact

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i play at the plate is like any other play. the situation is the same as plays that happen several times a game, every game. it' a guy trying to advance a base on a non-force out.

if the ball beats a guy to 2B on a non force out, he slows down as he approaches the base and lets the second baseman tag him, or if he's feeling frisky tries to dive around the tag.

if the ball beats a guy to 3B on a non force out, he slows down as he approaches the base and lets the third baseman tag him, or if he's feeling frisky tries to dive around the tag.

if the ball beats a guy to home plate, he charges at the catcher.

I really don't get why it's acceptable, when charging with your whole bodily force into a second baseman isn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest problem I see on the play at the plate is that catcher has those darn shin guards! If a player were to slide into home there's a high likeliness of the sliding player to become injured. Just take one look at the Josh Hamilton play for an example. I played for catcher for years in everything from Little League to Men's Senior Leagues and never had a problem with the play at the plate, I tried to put as much punishment into the oncoming player as possible, its always been part of baseball and I think it should stay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the flip to that is you don't see 2nd basemen squating in front of the bag or blocking the path down the line

 

when a guy breaks to steal a base you don't see the defender immediately put his body in the path of the base and wait for the throw to come in

 

also, in many instances with plays at the plate the ball isn't really there .... they tend to be close plays

 

a guy doesn't not go hard into any other base because the ball is there a little before them .... they still make them handle the catch, make the tag, etc

 

what you're describing sounds more like bad baserunning where a guy is caught in a run down or is just badly beat .... no player is just going to give up on a play, at least no player who wants to look at his teamates in the lockeroom

 

you just get more of these closer plays when it comes at the plate ..... a run is directly involved, so that increases how competative it is ..... it's generally the farthest throw and more frequently a catcher will get pulled a little bit by the throw .... the whole set of cirumstances are a little more varied than a guy making it to 3rd on a deep fly to right

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catchers don't have to block the plate. They have the choice to put themselves at risk of physical harm to save one run. Let's leave it up to them to decide.

 

Exactly.

 

I would want my bum catcher say a Matt Treanor to block the plate and risk injury to potentially save one run but not my star catcher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually expecting a lot of vitrol from Giants fans - but they've been surprising level headed on all of this ...... disapointed for sure, but not necessarily all short memory (well at least the ones who were there before they lifted the trophy...)

 

 

And I have to give a lot of credit to Bruce Bochy and the Giants for not retaliating, let alone throwing at someone's head or something. Bochy barked at Cousins at first, but he was fair in the post-game clips I saw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and of course if the catcher is down the base path towards 3rd and you can't reach home plate without mowing him over, then you have no choice... so I'm not touching that.

 

But in cases where they aren't really in your way, it's basically a case of "the ball is going to beat me there so I'm going to take you out". True you don't have to block the plate, but then you're giving the runner an extra advantage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't think people understand that the intention was to knock the ball out of Posey's possession, not find the base. Scott Cousins even said it - and there's nothing wrong with that. (referring to people in general, not you)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have loved to see how the media would have covered this had it been Pedroia or Youkilis bowling over Arencibia in Tor and breaking his leg. I bet we'd mostly be hearing about how hard Pedroia/Youk plays and what a grinder he is. "They just don't know how to play other than 110%."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catchers don't have to block the plate. They have the choice to put themselves at risk of physical harm to save one run. Let's leave it up to them to decide.

 

This. The argument doesnt have anywhere else to go. dont block the plate if you dont want to get hit.

 

and when they aren't blocking the plate? I'm not talking about catchers who are standing on the third base side of home just waiting for the runner. Posey was playing that about perfectly from what I can tell, I would not call that blocking the plate. and Hayes wasn't blocking the plate at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe a hard slide, but it seems to already be an "unspoken rule" that you don't ram and tackle any of the basemen. You know? It's like everyone who plays does things this way, a hard slide into a base; but on the other hand runners will try to charge the catcher to make him lose posession. To me it's the urgency of protecting your "home base." The military/definitive conotations with that word inherently result in more exciting and physical plays. They're protecting home base! er, plate. Or i've just been writing a paper for way too long.

 

Polll!!!! I want a pollll!! =)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would make a poll but it's hard to lay it out as a yes or no question... not sure how I'd word it. Not even sure what the question is actually, lol.

 

If the question is "should runners be allowed to take out the catcher regardless?" we'd probably wind up with judgement calls half the time and we're sitting in NFL land where they review every other hit in the secondary to determine how much of a cheap shot it is... nobody wants that.

 

 

Buster Olney is suggesting that MLB just ban catchers from blocking the plate altogether.

 

In the big-picture question of risk/reward, the play of blocking home plate, to save one run, is just not worth it. Not even close … MLB and the Players Association should step in and ban the play of a catcher blocking home. It’s just not worth it, for anyone involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...