Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald mentioned yesterday the vicious collision that current Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond had more than a decade ago with new Marlins third baseman Ty Wigginton. At the time, Wigginton was a Met and he barreled over the Marlins catcher at the plate. Red hung on to the ball and Wigginton was called out, and Red was forced out of the game a few innings later.
Redmond said that he doesn’t hold any grudges and respects Wigginton’s tough, hard nosed demeanor.
If anything, Redmond admires the fact that Wigginton is “a hard-nosed player” who “respects the game and knows how to play the game right.”
While this is certainly water under the bridge between the two players, this situation is noteworthy from a rule change standpoint. This offseason, the play at the plate has gotten a lot of attention from the MLB front office as they try to keep the game safe, without changing one of the most exciting plays in a game that isn’t exactly dripping with them.
The proposed rule change would require swipe tags to be applied by all catcher’s and basically remove their ability to block the plate. This rule change creates a whole host of problems, many of which have already been voiced, but include retraining players that have been taught to do something a certain way for most of their life, possibly costing some their job if they are not able to change.
I tend to gravitate toward old school thought in most of my baseball opinion, and I have a hard time with changing rules, although this one may be the right time. While I find a play at the plate certainly exciting, it is not because of the collision, rather it is the bang-bang play that ensues. No other base allows a player to blockade the path to it, (although that would be something else, wouldn’t it?) and it seems unneccessary to have it at home. When you take into account the increasing size and speed of these players, it seems prudent.
Concussions are also a point of emphasis that no one wants to speak of in the baseball community, but the fact remains that the NFL is going through a heck of a time trying to figure out a way to curb their safety issue, and would sacrifice a team for an answer as easy as MLB’s can be in this issue.
I believe the ban on home plate collisions will happen, and it will probably be slightly tweaked in years to come as they try to get the answer right. It is the safe thing to do, which makes it the smart thing to do in baseball’s eyes.
What do you think about play? Should MLB ban it or do you want them to keep it? Let us know in the comments below!