MLB instituting ban on home-plate collisions

Otto Greule Jr

The final draft of the rule change will be submitted to the MLB Players Association for approval next month.

Major League Baseball's rules committee has decided to implement a ban on home-plate collisions that could go into effect as early as 2014, reports Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News.

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The specifics of the rule change have yet to be laid out, but it's generally expected that: 1) runners will no longer be allowed to target the catcher as they cross home plate, and 2) catchers won't be allowed to block the plate.

"We want to change the culture of acceptance that these plays are ordinary and routine," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson, via Jesse Spector of Sporting News.

The enforcement of the rule is "subject to final determination," according to Alderson, which means that umpires could potentially use their new expanded privilege of replay review to decide if the rule was violated. If it's determined that a player violated the rule, he could be subject to a fine or suspension, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

A final draft of the rule will be written up and sent to the MLB Players Association for approval sometime next month. The plan is to institute the rule change immediately, but if the union rejects it, the league can unilaterally implement it for the 2015 season.

A rule change regarding collisions at home has been bandied about for a while -- particularly in the wake of Buster Posey's gruesome 2011 injury -- but on Wednesday the committee finally decided to put it to a vote. It's unclear who are members of that committee, but all managers present for the vote -- including former catcher Mike Scioscia -- decided in favor of changing the rule, reports Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.

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