Home-plate collision rule could be passed soon

Major League Baseball might have a home-plate collision ban in place for spring training games, according to a report.

If umpires approve the proposed rule change, it would be lin the players' hands to ratify it, CBSSports.com reported Wednesday.

The proposed rule would force runners to slide or avoid a head-on collision with the catcher on a close play at the plate. The change was proposed in an effort to avoid serious injuries.

Surprisingly, not all catchers are supportive of the rule, even though they likely would benefit the most if violent collisions were avoided.

One of those catchers is Dioner Navarro of the Toronto Blue Jays. He was carted off the field last August after a collision with Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley at the plate.

"I don't care. We're still going to get crushed," Navarro told ESPN, adding that it has been part of baseball for 100 years.

Blue Jays backup catcher Erik Kratz thinks catchers should be able to block the plate at their own risk, particularly if it would prevent a run.

"If you're a guy who wants to stay in there and save a run, why can't you?" Kratz told ESPN. "Why would they take that advantage away from somebody who's willing to get hurt?

"Look, I get it. I get why they're doing this. I've been fortunate. I've never had a bad injury like (San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey) ... If I'd lost a season because of this, I'd probably be all for it. But I haven't experienced that."

Kratz is worried about the gray areas, such as inadvertent collisions and where the catcher is allowed to position himself.

"What happens if a catcher sticks his leg out to block the plate?" Kratz asked. "If somebody's catching a throw and they're giving (the runner) the plate, but then they stick their leg out, go down and tag the guy out? Is that illegal? You see second basemen do that all the time -- block the bag with their leg when they're taking a throw."

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