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Thread: Time to start protecting catchers...

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Time to start protecting catchers...

    Watching David Ross being bowled over by Mike Cameron, I would love to see MLB take steps to protect catchers from serious injury. Steps have been taken to protect batters from being hit by pitched balls, so what is it going to take for league officials to see that they are putting catchers in danger?

    Actually, I love the collisions. Norm Charlton's demolition of Mike Scioscia was a classic. However, today's athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. Somebody is one day going to receive a serious head or spinal injury.

    For me, a slide, even an extremely hard slide, should be enough. If the catcher is blocking the plate without the ball, award the runner the plate but don't allow catcher, who is concentrating on a throw, to be bowled over by the runner.

    In an ironic side note, Ross was once injured in a minor league game when he bowled over Corky Miller.
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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    At root you could be right, but I enjoy it and it comes to the old cliche....'its part of the game.'

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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    I love the collisions too. I was involved in three as a catcher . After I made sure all the pieces were still intact I was really pumped. The last one reminded of the scene in Major League when Tom Berenger gets creamed. Bad relay throw from the 1B left me wide open. Runner hit me so hard I hit the fence. LOL! Good times.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    At root you could be right, but I enjoy it and it comes to the old cliche....'its part of the game.'
    But, so were retaliatory hit batsmen.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    I actually looked for a picture of when Dunn bowled over Wiki Gonzalez back in 2001, but I couldn't find it. That much being said, here's a decent substitute, aka a quality "caption this" moment ...

    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    Member Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    Watching David Ross being bowled over by Mike Cameron, I would love to see MLB take steps to protect catchers from serious injury. Steps have been taken to protect batters from being hit by pitched balls, so what is it going to take for league officials to see that they are putting catchers in danger?

    Actually, I love the collisions. Norm Charlton's demolition of Mike Scioscia was a classic. However, today's athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. Somebody is one day going to receive a serious head or spinal injury.

    For me, a slide, even an extremely hard slide, should be enough. If the catcher is blocking the plate without the ball, award the runner the plate but don't allow catcher, who is concentrating on a throw, to be bowled over by the runner.

    In an ironic side note, Ross was once injured in a minor league game when he bowled over Corky Miller.
    I kind of agree. I don't mind catchers getting drilled when they have the ball and are ready to be hit, but a catcher looking away to field a throw is completely unprotected. I almost think it should be called like pass interference in football. I think Cameron would have easily been safe if he would have just slid or stepped around Ross, but he probably couldn't really tell so I don't think he did anything dirty. Which is probably why it would be hard to change the rule.

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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    It's only fun to watch collisions when it's not your team's catcher in the mix.

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    Member Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    I actually looked for a picture of when Dunn bowled over Wiki Gonzalez back in 2001, but I couldn't find it. That much being said, here's a decent substitute, aka a quality "caption this" moment ...

    Is that a screen shot from the first "Street Fighter" game?

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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    I actually looked for a picture of when Dunn bowled over Wiki Gonzalez back in 2001, but I couldn't find it. That much being said, here's a decent substitute, aka a quality "caption this" moment ...

    L-R-UP-A-A-B "HURRICANE KICK!"
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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Catchers are sitting ducks at home plate from time to time. When you have to take a throw from the right side of the field, you're ribs are left exposed to the runner from third.

    Every now and then, you get a vicious cheap shot which could be career ending. It happened to a good friend of mine in A ball a couple of years ago. Seth Pietsch of Johnson City went out of his way to nail Brandon Yarbrough, who wasn't even blocking the plate. He knocked him out cold, and he went into a seizure when he regained consciousness. Everyone who saw it said it was the cheapest shot they ever saw, and many of the people I talked to about it had been around baseball for over 30 years. Brandon was taken off the field in an ambulance, and initial fears were of a spinal injury, which thankfully was not the case.

    I was a catcher, and I've had my share of taking and returning shots. If you get down low enough and have time, you can really put a lick on someone with your shin guards. Likewise, you can get really nailed if you're exposed.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    I love the collisions too. I was involved in three as a catcher . After I made sure all the pieces were still intact I was really pumped. The last one reminded of the scene in Major League when Tom Berenger gets creamed. Bad relay throw from the 1B left me wide open. Runner hit me so hard I hit the fence. LOL! Good times.
    My one collision as a catcher (softball, not hard ball) was in 1980, I think I was more shocked that our outfielder hit the cut off man who turned and threw to the plate. The runner slammed into me and upended me. I landed face first but held the ball up showing I had it - he was out. I just remember everyone looking at me and going "oh oh". My nose was broken and I ended up with two black eyes and later surgery. But I held on to that stinking ball! Actually it was following that surgery that the girl I'd been dating then showed up at the hospital and the rest is, as they say, history.

    It turns out the guy was the brother of a guy we all knew. Over twenty years later when my son started at St. X, I was at an orientation session and this lady next to me had the same last name as our friend and I asked her if she was related to him. She said that was her brother-in-law. So I asked if it was her husband or another brother who clobbered me. She said probably another brother, can't remember his name now.

    I saw her later that year and she said she brought it up at a family gathering and the guy got all hot and bothered about it and said he was safe, that he got his foot on the plate before I tagged him. His kids and nieces and nephews were ragging him about getting so worked up about it. I laughed and said that he might think he was safe but the only person whose opinion counted said he was out.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Of course, who was the catcher that Adam Dunn reminded that he'd been a football player in a previous life? That was a shot that would have made any running backs coach thrilled.

  14. #13
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Shines View Post
    Is that a screen shot from the first "Street Fighter" game?
    Finish Him!

    Short of football equipment I don't see how you can protect them in the field any more, unless you start calling guys safe if they are too "aggressive" and I'd hate to see the umps have any more say over the game then they already do
    Go Gators!

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Nobody forces catchers in to protecting the plate with their bodies. If anything, the rules stipulate that the runner has the right of way. Why don't we see 1B standing in the baseline at 1B, ready to upend the runner unless he goes around? If the catcher chooses to squat down in the path of the runner, the resulting collision is his responsibility. If the runner goes out of the baseline to knock him down, I would have to believe that a rule exists (or should) to penalize the runner for this, as it would at any base. No runner should be allowed to purposefully interfere with the catching of the ball, particularly outside of the basepath. I believe ARod was called out on similar grounds when he slapped the ball out of the glove of the Sox 1B (Mientkiewicz?).

    The catcher already wears a helmet, a chest protector, and shin guards. Even if he were in full pads, he wouldn't be safe from a blindsided collision. Just ask any QB. It's unfortunate, but unless the runner is going out of his way to deck an unprepared catcher, I think the solution is in coaching, not armor nor complicated right-of-way rules. If the runner grossly interferes, let the umpire call him out as his discretion.

    Let the rules encourage the runner to avoid the tag unless the catcher has really set up shop (not wanting to be called out for interference) and discourage the catcher from setting up shop by making it clear that he's assuming all risk once he does, if not outright awarding home plate. I've never understood why the catcher got to be a goalie instead of just making a tag.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  16. #15
    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Time to start protecting catchers...

    Here is an interesting article from Sports Illustrated.Com


    How it Feels
    Home Plate Collisions




    RAMON HERNANDEZ Orioles catcher
    "Every collision hurts," says Hernandez, who has twice been sidelined by knee injuries sustained at the plate. "You try to put your body soft -- that allows you to take the hit easier. You [want] to catch and secure the ball, get good position and get down quick. If I get hit when I am up high, that's when it's a hard hit. I don't hear the crowd. The only thing I worry about is staying with the ball."

    GARY BENNETT Cardinals catcher
    The St. Louis backup recalls getting run over by then Dodger Brian Jordan when Bennett was a Padre in 2003 (left). "Fred McGriff hit a double down the rightfield line. The relay came to [second baseman] Mark Loretta. I looked up, and Jordan was at full steam rounding third. I wasn't looking forward to what was going to happen; he was an All-Pro-caliber safety in the NFL. It's not a very good feeling. [Loretta's throw] bounced once, twice, and as soon as I got the ball, Jordan smoked me head over heels. I tore my MCL [and missed a month]. Going into this job, you know this is part of the gig. I don't know if we're brave or dumb. I've got to say dumb."

    PAUL LO DUCA Mets catcher
    "More guys get hit when the ball is coming in from rightfield because you can't see the runner coming," says Lo Duca. "When the ball is in left or center, you sort of have a feel. What I try to do is give the runner half of the plate. If he sees half the plate, he's going to slide; if he doesn't see any of the plate, he's going to run you over. Brian Jordan had the biggest hit I've ever seen, on Gary Bennett. I felt sorry for Gary because he tried to catch the next pitch and fell down. Brian will go after you."

    RAY FOSSE Former Indians catcher
    Fosse, now an A's broadcaster, got barreled over by the Reds' Pete Rose in the 1970 All-Star Game. "What bothers me is that Pete denies he could have slid in," says Fosse. "He could have. I didn't expect that kind of hit. He fractured and separated my left shoulder, and I didn't know it -- I kept playing until September 1. I had 16 homers at the All-Star break, and I only hit two more [that year]. My career went downhill. Pete once signed a ball for me and wrote, thanks for making me famous. The collision played into his Charlie Hustle reputation. The irony is that when he went to prison [for tax evasion in '90], it was in my hometown, Marion, Illinois."

    JAVY LOPEZ Orioles catcher
    "I try to stay away from the runner," says the 14-year veteran. "Unless it is a winning run, I try to just put one foot blocking the plate and the rest of my body out of the way. The worst feeling is when he knocks you out and you lose the ball." Lopez absorbed his worst big league collision in 1994, getting bulldozed by the late Ken Caminiti, an Astro. "He killed me," says Lopez of Caminiti. "He hit me so hard, I was almost in the dugout. I remember the gasp from the crowd. That was the third out, and when I sat down [on the bench], I started to recover. It felt like a car hit me. It doesn't matter how big the player is. The runner always has the advantage."

    JASON KENDALL A's catcher
    "Gary Sheffield absolutely crushed me. I was in la-la land," says Kendall of a 1999 collision in Dodger Stadium when he was a Pirate. "I kept saying the same three words over and over: 'Did we win?' Our manager, Gene Lamont, had been in a wheelchair [with a strained back] for three weeks, and I asked him, 'Why are you in a wheelchair?' I led off the next inning, and I swung at three pitches in the dirt. Then I went out to the mound and kept asking, 'What are the fundamental signs?' or something stupid. [The next day] I called Gene Lamont at four in the morning and said, 'I better be playing tonight.' I played. For the next two weeks I was dazed. I had a second-degree concussion. But I held on to the ball."

    MIKE MATHENY Giants catcher
    "The worst hit I've had was in the minors, in Double A against the Cardinals farm team," Matheny recalls. "They had Paul Coleman. He wasn't big [5'11", 200 pounds], but he was fast. I didn't want to show I was hurt, but I was. It was the last out, so I got up and started going to the dugout. Only it was their dugout. What I learned that day was never to flip my mask off. I keep it on all the time for protection. The most important thing when a guy is coming down the line is to get yourself in place and establish a position. You have to stay in place and stay low. The only thing you don't like is guys coming in with elbows high. You know the runner is doing his job, but it still ticks you off. You don't forget."

    Issue date: June 19, 2006
    Last edited by Spitball; 08-14-2007 at 10:12 PM.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton


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