A rarity in Major League Baseball has occurred–they decided to change a rule.
Of all the rules in the game which fans have pleaded with MLB to make/change–such as replay, this is the one which most MLB fans were pretty on the fence about.
From a safety stance it makes sense to do away with home plate collisions, but from a purely baseball standpoint it will take some getting used to. The new rule, would make runners slide to home plate to not initiate contact with the catcher. Likewise, catchers will not be allowed to block the plate, they will have to tag runners and allow them to run to the plate–just as fielders at other positions do.
Nothing has been put into writing yet, but the groundwork has been laid and the new rule will go into the effect starting in 2014 if approved by the players. If the rule is not approved then MLB would be allowed to implement it starting in 2015.
No doubt MLB is doing their part to not make the same mistakes the NFL has made dealing with player safety and concussions. Smart move by MLB, but a core element of the game will be lost in the process.
Welcome to today’s era of sports.
H/T: NBC Sports