Thursday, December 12, 2013


Today’s SportNation’s poll question, “How would you feel about MLB banning collisions at home plate?”, had over 68,000 responses as of 6:30 this morning. 39% responded, “OK with it”, while 61% responded “Not OK with it”. Comments critical of the proposed rules change to eliminate home plate collisions included “…wusses, …man up…, …stop messing with the perfectly great game, …seems dumb”. And these are some of the less offensive comments.

The misogynistic comments are, of course, “dumb”, coming from apparently “real men” from the comfort of their PCs and barcaloungers. The “don’t change the game” comments might have more validity at first glance… unless you’re, well,  “dumb”.

At every level that baseball is played as a game, beginning with T-Ball, the home plate collision has already been banned for years. The practice has only survived at the professional level where baseball is far more a business, and a very big one, and far less a game. “Manliness” aside, one can only reasonably expect that savvy business people will protect their valuable assets.

The intentional lower-your-shoulder and wipe out a player collision has not been allowed at any other base without the suggestion that uniform pants be changed to skirts. Pete Rose shot off his big mouth in opposition to any rule change, the Pete Rose who ended Ray Fosse’s career with a vicious hit at home plate in a meaningless All Star game and the same Pete Rose who never had to worry about getting equally smeared playing 2nd base. You’re the “man”, Peter, or perhaps you’re still just a Dick.

The don’t-mess-with-the-game-I-played purists simply have no clothes unless they’ve walked a mile in the spikes of a major league catcher.

Rules purists are even more naked. Changes in rules, rules interpretations and unwritten rules have been part of baseball for over a century. Any reasonable baseball fan should be able to easily tick off a dozen examples of the former and the “neighborhood play” at second exemplifies the later.

To all the red-blooded, violence thirsty troglodytes bemoaning the demise of a relatively rare but frequently disastrous collision, take a pill – other than Viagra – and try to understand that major league baseball is not played in the Roman Coliseum and is sold as family entertainment. Need more mayhem in your life? Chug a six-pack and head out to the demolition derby, MMA or WWE slug-and hug-fest. There’s enough gore and violence, real and imagined, for all. 

- V.

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