Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This isn't Football
So I think plate collisions should be banned in baseball. Obviously this post is inspired by the pictured collision that happened on Sunday in the Braves game. Don't get me wrong though, I have no hard feelings for Shane Victorino. Under the current rules, I think he made a legitimate play... I just don't think it should be legitimate.
I know that baseball purists will cry out and complain that changing this rule would destroy the hustling spirit of baseball, or something to that effect, but plate collisions are a major health risk for catchers. Half of the time they either don't see it coming or don't have enough time to brace themselves, while the runner has a full head of steam. On Sunday the throw was coming from right field and McCann got hit right as he was turning to Victorino.
Additionally, due to the new hockey-style catcher masks, catchers have no protection for their heads. The runner has more protection since he's still got his helmet on. I don't think Victorino was head-hunting, but due to McCann's quick turn and the fact that he was crouching Victorino hit him straight in the head. Even if the runner hits the catcher below the head, the catcher has a major risk of falling back and slamming his head on the ground.
As the NFL is discovering, head injuries are serious and can have some major lasting implications. Just because baseball has less contact doesn't mean that the MLB shouldn't be concerned with head injuries as well.