Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Periscope: Not All Home-Plate Collisions Fair Play

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Periscope: Not All Home-Plate Collisions Fair Play

Article excerpt

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey won't play in Wednesday's spring training opener. That's because the 2011 injury Posey suffered left team manager Bruce Bochy cautious about Posey's workload.

Posey became San Francisco's hometown hero when the Giants won the 2010 World Series and Posey was named National League Rookie of the Year. Posey had an even better year in 2012, when the Giants won the World Series again and he was named the National League Most Valuable Player.

But upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat, to quote Ernest Lawrence Thayer, when, on May 25, 2011, Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins barreled into Posey, breaking the catcher's leg and foot. Posey missed the rest of the season, and the Giants missed the playoffs.

Home-plate collisions have put so many catchers on the disabled list that they have a new rule to follow: Don't block the plate if you don't have the ball. Base runners have a complementary directive: Don't bowl over the catcher unless he has the ball and is blocking the plate. If the catcher violates the rule, the runner is declared safe. If the runner fails to abide, he's out.

Posey has been outspoken in favor of the rule change and was asked to provide input for the rules committee. On Tuesday he told reporters the change would help eliminate malicious collisions.

Bochy, who spent his playing days as a catcher for the Astros, Mets and Padres, also spoke in favor of the new rule.

But Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierznyski said he knew the job was dangerous when he took it.

"It's one of those things, as a big-league catcher, I signed up for it," Pierznyski told USA Today. "You never want to see guys get hurt, and you never want to see guys go down because of it, but it's part of the game you signed up for."

Minimizing violence in sports has become the vogue, particularly since a group of former NFL players sued the league over concussions and walked away with a $765 million settlement in August - an amount U. …

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