Major League Baseball is trying to limit collisions at home plate that have plagued players with injuries for decades by adopting a rule to control them this season.
While the rule is not set in stone, the "one-year experiment" was a compromise between the league and the players union.
The rule, rule 7.13, states that a runner that tries to score may not diverge from his direct path to the plate in order to commence contact with the catcher, or any other player covering home plate. A runner that violates the rule will be ruled out, even if the fielder drops the ball following the collision.
"I heard they wanted to do more and take away any type of contact at the plate at all. I wasn't quite in favor of that," Reds Mesoraco said. "What they have passed now I'm definitely in favor of. I think it makes a lot of sense. It takes away those unnecessary collisions. It's a play that's a lot of fun. I think nothing really gets a team going a whole lot more than a play at the plate."
The new regulation does not force the runners to slide, or prevent catchers from blocking the plate. Additionally, umpires can use instant replay to review possible violations. The MLB distributed training materials to teams so players could begin preparing for the new change.
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