By Ken Reed
Chase Utley’s brutal slide into Ruben Tejada, a slide in which no effort was made to actually touch second base and resulted in a broken leg for Tejada, is the final straw. Baseball’s Stone Age mentality when it comes to the ethics of the game must go.
Driven by unwritten “Old School” rules, and derived from an overdose of machismo, baseball traditionalists have long felt it was okay to slide out of the base path to break up double play attempts — the “takeout slide” — putting the health of shortstops and second basemen in danger. It’s the same mentality that says it’s okay to purposely throw at an opposing hitter if one of your hitters happens to have been hit by a pitch. Or, the thought process that says it’s okay to hit a batter if you have a hard time getting him out (for example, if he hit a home run off of you in the previous at-bat, plunk him the next time up). It’s the same type of thinking that until recently allowed runners coming full-speed down the third base line to plow into defenseless catchers waiting to receive a throw to the plate.
Thankfully, the “Buster Posey Rule” stopped the nonsense at home plate. A similar rule, we can call it the “Ruben Tejada Rule,” is needed to stop runners from running outside the baseline and barreling into defenseless middle infielders at second base.
“That’s the way the game’s always been played” can no longer be an excuse for barbaric behavior in sports. The game will be much better once the Ruben Tejada Rule is implemented.
As USA Today’s Bob Nightengale recently wrote:
“We had the Buster Posey Rule two years ago, with players no longer permitted to clobber catchers at home plate, reducing the number of concussions and other injuries. Now we’ll have the Utley Rule, where players can no longer wipe out middle infielders at second base, reducing the number of broken legs … MLB must rewrite the rules and require that base runners slide directly at the base, not at the infielder.”
Yes, they must. Ideally, by commissioner edict from this point forward. If not, definitely in time for next season.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for 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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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