Written by: Kiersten Ehr
Sports Director: Skye Wallace
On Monday, the Major League Baseball association and MLB players announced that this upcoming 2014 season will introduce a new experimental and controversial rule, called 7.13. Some argue the rule will protect catchers; while prohibiting base runners from starting deliberate collisions at home plate. The MLB hopes this new rule will help players decrease injuries and possible concussions.
Players & Coaches Standpoints:
Jason Castro, All – Star Catcher for the Houston Astros, is an enthusiast for 7.13.
“I think the gist of it is outlawing… Guys going out of their way to make contact with the catcher,” Castro said. “Obviously, that’s a good thing. I think those kinds of plays are definitely avoidable. If a throw leads you into the runner, there’s nothing you can do about that. No egregious contact, and you can’t block the plate without the ball… I think those are positive changes.”
John Farrell, Red Sox Manager, views’ this new rule as an opportunity to reinforce new game winning strategies on players.
“We’re going to instruct them to slide,” Farrell said. “We’re talking about such a quick decision that you’ve got to go in feet first or a headfirst slide if you feel like that can avoid a tag. There’s no contact, there’s no collision.”
Texas Rangers Catcher J.P. Arencibia & Rangers Manager Ron Washington also approve 7.13.
“It’s good, I think it takes away the malicious intent behind the play at the plate,” Arencibia said. “It stops guys just going out of their way just to try to dislodge the baseball when they (catchers) have the plate,” Washington said.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers start off the 2014 MLB Season on March 22nd-23rd held in Australia. Many players and managers have voiced their opinion fr this safety precaution in the MLB, but until regular season starts baseball fans will not see just how dramatically this will impact the great game of Americas past time.
OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULE 7.13
Collisions at home plate: Key rules
1. A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).
2. Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score.
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