x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

MLB see no need to end home-plate headache

Baseball must be in love with the home-plate collision, because it is still with us.

MLB is not interested in establishing a law that would eliminate a collision such as the one Boston Red Sox's David Ross had at home plate with Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila. Ross, by the way, was out. But Avila was out, too ... he eventually left the game with an injured knee. Matt Slocum / AP Photo
MLB is not interested in establishing a law that would eliminate a collision such as the one Boston Red Sox's David Ross had at home plate with Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila. Ross, by the way, was out. But Avila was out, too ... he eventually left the game with an injured knee. Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Baseball must be in love with the home-plate collision, because it is still with us.

The play that has caused numerous injuries, even ruining a career or two, was a prime topic of discussion in 2011 after the catcher Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants’ best player, suffered a broken leg in a brutal crash with Scott Cousins of Florida Marlins.

Nothing changed, though, and the issue seemed to die.

It remains uncertain whether anything will be done now, either, even after the two collisions that occurred in Game 5 of the American League Championships Series cost Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila only half a game with a sprained knee, and inspired only a small ripple of debate.

Ironically, the man who bowled over Avila was Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross, who earlier in the game also had been run into, but not quite as hard, by Miguel Cabrera.

Both catchers felt obligated to follow what is considered the standard protocol on a play at home – plant your body in the baseline, block the plate, dare the runner to slam into you, and hold onto the ball as best you can, even if your world has consequently gone black from the hit.

The easy, obvious solution to end this ridiculous ritual would be a rule that requires the catcher to provide a daylight path along the baseline to home plate and prohibits the runner from diving into or running through the fielder.

But we will not hold our breath while waiting.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE