While it was a concussion that ended Mike Matheny’s 13 year playing career behind the plate, he said his change of heart on home plate collisions comes mostly from seeing younger kids suffering head injuries. He feels it’s time for MLB to change the rules to do away with those violent hits at the plate. Matheny wants to talk with Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations and former catcher, to discuss the rule.
“What I’ve personally witnessed was enough for me to change my mind. It actually took me a little longer ’till I got to the realization of the risk we’re putting these guys in — and the runner, too. The runner is stuck in a spot sometimes where if he doesn’t do it, he feels like he’s let his team down. Take it out of their hands. This isn’t a collision sport. There’s enough of a physical grind with guys being out there for 162 games. We’ve got the physical aspect of this game. It doesn’t need to include that one spot.”
Matheny is not only in favor of banning runners from plowing into catchers, but he also feels a rule needs to be in place to prevent catchers from blocking the plate.