MLB Should Look Into Catcher Safety Right Now

An article by posted on May 27, 2011

With the recent collision between the Giants Buster Posey and Marlins OF Scott Cousins, there is now talk that Major League Baseball should look into a rule for catcher collisions.  Folks like FOX Sports broadcaster Tim McCarver, and Buster Posey’s agent have spoke about adding a new rule that helps protect catchers. 

The question thats going around the league right now, is should MLB have a rule in place for catchers and collisions?  A lot of people will tell you that catcher collisions have been around the game for a long time now.  They’ll also tell you that the play is part of the game.  We’ve seen players like Gary Carter take violent hits from collisions at the plate in the past.   

Should now be the time that Major League Baseball takes a look at improving the safety of the catcher and look into rule changes?

Last night on Sports Center, they had their usual Sports Science segment.  I watched it, and it was very interesting.  We all know that collisions are violent. fast, and very dangerous, but here are some facts from the Sports Science segment that are both interesting and shocking about catcher collisions.

When the runner tackles the catcher, there is roughly 3,125 LBs of force brought onto the catcher.  When the collision happens, both the runner and the catcher share the equal amount of force.  This is part of Newton’s law of motion.   

The only part about the segment that shocked me, is when John Brenkus mentioned that football players have pads that can reduce the impact of a tackle by 40%.  What does that have to do with anything you ask?  Football players have protection in case of a tackle, while baseball players do not have any when a collision occurs.   If baseball can give their catchers protection against collisions at the plate, then rules don’t need to be changed. 

Catchers have had career ending injuries from very serous collisions.  MLB really should look more into the safety of the players through equipment before instituting any rule changes. If they don’t look at the safety aspect now, something tragic may happen to where MLB will have to do something almost immediately. Take NASCAR for example.

In 2001, Dale Earnhardt died in a violent crash in the middle of Turn 4 at Daytona.  It was found that Dale Earnhardt’s head and neck were not restrained, which caused the injuries that killed him.  They may have even been prevented.  Over the years after the accident, NASCAR has made plenty of safety improvements to both the drivers, and the race cars.  Because of NASCAR’s safety improvements, NASCAR is now one of the most safest sports in the entire world. 

It is time for Major League Baseball to look into safety improvements for catchers because someone could  very well end up being killed, or could be in a fight for their life if there is nothing done about the safety of catchers.  These hits are violent, and are very dangerous.   Bud Selig, i hope your listening.

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