In light of the season-ending injury to the San Francisco Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey, it’s time for Major League Baseball (MLB) to come out of the stone ages and do a better job protecting its players.
Allowing catchers to legally stand in the base path of 200-pound elite athletes running full bore at them is negligence in the area of safety on the part of MLB owners. It’s also a poor business practice to allow valuable players to be vulnerable like this . Catchers don’t have the protection to take blows from MLB players colliding with them at home plate — especially when they’re looking at the ball being thrown in and not the runner coming down the third base line. Without a full view of the runner, they don’t even have time to brace for a collision.
“You don’t just replace a guy like Buster Posey,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher who said he’d like to see MLB adopt a rule to help protect catchers.
Bochy proposes a rule change that would disallow a runner from blasting full speed into the catcher if the runner has a clear lane to the plate.
“The catcher’s so vulnerable, and there’s so many that have gotten hurt,” Bochy said. “And not just a little bit. I mean, careers ended or shortened.”
In most states, it is now illegal to run over the catcher in high school baseball. The same thing should happen at the higher levels of the game.
Here’s a fix: If the catcher is blocking the base path it should be ruled interference. The runner should always have a right to the base path and if a defensive player is in the base path — for whatever reason — it’s interference and the runner is given the base he’s headed to (in the Posey case, he would’ve been awarded home plate).
Just because MLB has been allowing catchers to block the plate — and runners to bowl them over — for 100+ years is no reason we can’t be a little more enlightened today about this archaic rule.
It’s time to change the rule. Now.
— Ken Reed, Director & Senior Analyst, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans, why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks, and the fact the vast majority of players are for more protective netting in stadiums.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon