It’s unfortunate that it almost always takes a victim to cause change. And after last night’s ugly injury to Buster Posey, calls have gone out today to reform and better enforce the rules as they pertain to catchers trying to block the plate or to base runners set on a collision course with that catcher.
Personally, I don’t agree. My inner libertarian shakes its disapproving head at the idea of rules for rules sake. Incidents at home plate rarely result in injuries. If a catcher wants to block the plate, he can do so at his own risk. The same holds true for a base runner, who is just as likely to get injured sliding into home as he is barreling into the catcher. It’s not as though the current set of rules or how those rules are put into practice have caused an epidemic of injured players.
However, if people are going to insist that something be done, why stop there? Here are a list of rules that are every bit as important as a means of avoiding injury as new policies to limit runner and catcher collisions.
The Josh Hamilton
Listening to your third base coach in the first inning of the game will result in an automatic out, and potentially an ejection if following the coach’s instructions is followed by a head first slide. Suspensions would be considered if the head first slide is into home plate, or done so on a ball that did not make it into the outfield.
The Tsuyoshi Nishioka
A runner on first base is automatically out if he attempts to run to second base on any potential double play balls, hit to any part of the infield. Ejections are at the umpire’s discretion if the runner makes any contact with the second baseman or shortstop who is covering the base that the runner slides into.
The Dusty Baker
No player is allowed to pitch for any team managed by Dusty Baker. First offense will result in a fifty game suspension, second offense will be a hundred games suspension and a third offense will see you banned from baseball.
The Chase Utley
Players over the age of 30 are no longer allowed to accumulate more than 2250 innings over two years at the catcher, second base, shortstop and center field positions. At the age of 35, the same rule is enacted for third basemen and corner outfielders. The inning limit for catchers, second basemen, shortstops and center fielders also decreases from 2250 to 1750. Managers caught putting players in the lineup past their inning limit will be forced to concede the game.
The Adam Wainwright
Pitchers may not throw underhand and may not exert themselves on the mound. Exertion, left to the judgment of the home plate umpire, will have the carry the same punishment as a balk.