home plate collisions rule 713 change

BY foxsports • August 15, 2014

Perhaps frustrated by the ongoing Rule 7.13 controversies, Tangotiger has a different solution for eliminating collisions at the plate: If the runner crosses a certain line whilst heading plateward, it becomes a force play. Which means no more tag plays at the plate at all. Tango:

I know some of you out there think that this takes out all the great slide/tag plays at home. The runner will now run through home the way he runs through first. You prefer the runner to slide in, the way you prefer Nick Punto slides into first base too ... eh? ... what's that? You prefer if Nick Punto runs through first base? So, wait, do you prefer the slide or the run through? Oh, I get it. Baseball is perfect and you prefer the status quo.

Tango's usually better than this.

It's perfectly possible for someone to prefer the status quo in some respects while not thinking the game is perfect, and favoring changes to the status quo in other respects.

Take me, for example. I'm fine with Rule 7.13 because I don't want to see home-plate collisions. Baseball wasn't perfect. But I also want to see tag plays at the plate, because yes they're exciting. And by the way it's not a matter of thinking Tango's change would eliminate all the great slide/tag plays at home; it necessarily would do exactly that.

The point of 7.13 is to retain an element of element of excitement while significantly lowering the chance of injuries. Which is exactly what's happened.

Granted, 7.13 hasn't worked perfectly. The rule was imperfectly designed and has been imperfectly applied, because our species is imperfect. But most of 7.13's flaws will be remedied with refinements and practice. The practical advantages of flat-out eliminating tag plays at home are, at least in my imperfect mind, far outweighed by the loss of drama.