LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings.
“This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen,” Alderson said. “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.”
Alderson said wording of the rules change will be presented to owners for approval at the Jan. 16 meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
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“The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to final determination,” he said. “We’re going to do fairly extensive review of the types of plays that occur at home plate to determine which we’re going to find acceptable and which are going to be prohibited.”
Approval of the players’ union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014.
“If the players’ association were to disapprove, then the implementation of the rule would be suspended for one year, but could be implemented unilaterally after that time,” Alderson said.
Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since May 2011, when San Francisco’s Buster Posey was injured by Florida’s Scott Cousins. Posey, an All-Star catcher, sustained a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, an injury that ended his season.
Posey returned to win the NL batting title and MVP award in 2012, when he led the Giants to their second World Series title in three seasons.