Joe West, Young Man

Umpire Joe West is an advocate of the "Its always been that way in Baseball" school of thought. From

Posey, last year's NL rookie of the year, was knocked out for the season on a play at the plate with Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins last week, a sequence that resulted in widespread, vexing rhetoric -- and apologies from both sides.

It also sparked debate on whether a change to baseball's baserunning rules could help avert injuries like Posey's.

Umpire Joe West, the president of the World Umpires Association who was feet away from the impact that sidelined Posey, assures it's only part of the game -- "just as much as apple pie."

"You ask me if I'm upset that a good, young player got hurt. Yeah. Is it unfortunate? Yeah. Is it part of the game? Yeah," West said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I can't tell you I would change anything, It's one of those things that's part of baseball, just as much as apple pie. You can't change the rules, because it's been that way forever."

I wonder if Joe liked the way MLB treated umpires years ago. You know, poor salaries, paltry meal money, no serious pension plan, and certainly no black umpires. Using West's theory, you can't change those things, because it's been that way forever.

This is such a non-issue. Protecting the health and safety of players should be job #1 of the MLBPA and of MLB. The game will not be diminished when players stop intentionally crashing into each other.

Truth is, the game will be better family entertainment with one simple rule change.The rules of the game should be dynamic, like our democracy. Tweaking things for the better is what is as American as apple pie.

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