Major League Baseball has officially enacted the proposed rule change that would put restrictions on collisions between baserunners and catchers at home plate, announcing the new rule on Monday.
MLB, in a press release, said it will not ban all collisions, but “will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate.”
According to the release: (h/t CBSSports.com)
“A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball.
“Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.”
This rule is subject to review under MLB’s new instant replay system, as well.
The so-called “Buster Posey Rule” has been a hot topic of discussion, with many within the game—including catchers past and present—in favor of making the game a bit safer both for runners and catchers.
Old-school, hardcore types may scoff at how the game is getting softer, but it’s stupid to allow runners to put a bull’s eye on the head of catchers and crash into them even if the ball isn’t at the plate yet or if the catcher isn’t blocking the plate.
It’s a good rule, whether it winds up protecting a former MVP like Posey or a catcher few casual fans have heard of like Stephen Vogt.