Wednesday at the Winter Meetings, I attended Terry Francona's little press conference. All 30 managers do these 30-minute sessions, on a two-track schedule. Which is frustrating, because I'd like to attend all of them. Anyway, someone asked Francona about the proposal to limit or prohibit home-plate collisions, and he was essentially dismissive. I can't find a transcript anywhere and I wasn't taking good notes, but here's the essence of it:
Francona: I don't really see where the problem is. It's not like guys are running out of the baseline into the catchers.
Me: What about Buster Posey and Scott Cousins?
Francona: He wasn't out of the baseline on that one.
Me: Yeah, he was.
Francona: Well, I guess I'd have to go back and look at the tape. But I don't think he was.
That's not quite right. I don't think I was quite that argumentative. But it was an odd moment, because the managers don't generally get any push-back in these sessions. I shouldn't have let my frustration show, and I'll grant the difficulty of perfectly defining "baseline" ... but you can see the tape for yourself, again. You can see that Posey essentially gave Cousins the entire plate, and you can see Cousins subtly changing direction and not-so-subtly lower his shoulder and slamming into Posey. Here, see for yourself:
If there was a rule in place, Posey would have been following it. If there was a rule in place, Cousins would have been a) out, and b) probably fined and/or suspended. Just to be clear, Cousins was not trying to hurt Posey. You can see that he's immediately concerned about Posey's health. Cousins was just doing what players think (or thought) they were supposed to do. Now it's Baseball's job to finally, mercifully, sensibly, forceably tell players they're not supposed to do that any more.