Since the beginning of the sport, runners and catchers colliding at the plate have been a huge part of baseball. Bottom of the 9th, down by one, one out, and a runner on third, everyone knows what is about to happen. Batter pops it up to shallow right field, runner tags and it’s going to be close. Right fielder lasers it home and the runner and catcher collide. Everyone is on the edge of their seat. The umpire throws his hands in the air — “Safe”. Run is in and the home team forces extra innings. The “Play at the Plate” is the best play in baseball.
Rule 7.13 states: “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). A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.” Basically the runner cannot go out of his way to hit the catcher and force the drop. He cannot intentionally hit the catcher or whoever has the ball, for any reason.
Player safety is a concern, I get it, but to change America’s pastime now is insane. Collisions will always happen, but will that spark more controversy now as to how the umpire will make that close call at the plate? Being hit on your blindside hurts, (being a former catcher myself, I know from experience) but it is a part of the game that we all know and love! Catchers know the risk of this play and when you’re in the bigs you better expect this to happen. The “Play at the Plate” should stay just how it was in my opinion. Would fans want hockey to lose checking or football to lose sacking the quarterback? I don’t think so. So why take the best play out of our sport? I hope league officials see it is slowing the pace and ruining the game and change it back next year.
What do you think about Rule 7.13?