5/27/11 – Baseball’s Stupid-est Non-Rule

The recent injury suffered by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, perhaps lost for the season, reminded me once again of one of the dumbest “non-rules” in baseball. It is an accepted part of baseball that catchers can block home plate and runners can crash into catchers who do so. It is the only allowed physical contact in a non-contact sport.

Think about it. Defensive players can’t block runner at first, second or third base. Runners can’t run over defensive players hoping to jar loose the ball. Pitchers who throw at hitters are ejected.

Not only are home plate collision allowed, they’re encouraged. A catcher who doesn’t block the plate would be laughed out of his own locker room. A runner who doesn’t run over a catcher would be labeled a sissy (you get my meaning). It’s dangerous. And, of course, it can be costly to a player or team. Without Posey, a former Seminole star, the Giants’ chances of repeating as world champions are greatly diminished. Catcher Ray Fosse’s career ended after he was injured in a collision with Pete Rose , and that was in an all-star game.

It’s stupid to allow such a thing.

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