REFORM—REDUCING COLLISIONS AT HOME PLATE. I have posted several times, beginning here, on my long-held belief that blocking the plate in baseball ought to be eliminated. I had thought that any change in the rules was unlikely, but this article on MLB.com announces that: “the Playing Rules Committee has voted overwhelmingly to outlaw home-plate collisions between runners and catchers.” There are a lot of drafting issues and approvals remaining, but Sandy Alderson, who is one of the most competent men in baseball, is chairman of the Committee, and he is confident that the rule will be in place next season.
As well, an article by Tod Berg in USA SPORTS WEEKLY (December 26-January 1) reports on another change which shows safety is being taken seriously. Headgear for pitchers that will protect them against some line drives may be approved and available for 2014. (There have been some gruesome injuries to pitchers through the years.)