Views Differ On Protecting Catchers
During the winter meetings every manager was asked what they thought of the upcoming rules changes to prohibit collisions at home plate in an attempt to prevent injuries.
Most of the managers questioned were in agreement that the rules change would be beneficial to the game…..one not in agreement was Indians Manager Terry Francona who admitted that he’s in the minority.
“I think it’s well intended, I might be in a little bit of the minority, I think there’s liable to be more injuries with baserunners, then maybe we realize.”
Between Yan Gomes and Carlos Santana‘s offensive production (.271/.357/.467 with 22 HR and 74 RBI) and Gomes ability to throw out baserunners (nailed runner 41% [20 of 49]) that Francona would be all for any rule that would ensure his catchers remained healthy for the duration of the season.
Francona believes there’s a simple solution to the problem, “I guess if you don’t want your catcher to block the plate, just tell him not to. You don’t have to enforce the rules just tell him not to block the plate.”More From Francona Below:
It would seem to me that Francona would remember seeing his catcher being carted off after suffering a knee injury at the hands of his Red Sox back on August 2, 201o:
Indians Team President Mark Shapiro was on MLB Network Radio On Sirius XM and said that he didn’t feel there was a downside to the rule and that he’s a strong believer in the rule change. “I’ve never felt it took away from amateur baseball, watching amateur baseball and major college baseball never felt that rule diminished the game.”
He also feels that tradition should not get in the way of safety, “In a day and age where we have the ability to protect players sometimes tradition, sometimes things that signify the game in the past don’t have the same meaning they used to have and we need to get rid of something that’s false macho, false bravado, and not teach our players to do something that puts them in harms way and endangers their career and endangers clubs seasons.”More Audio Below: