When the topic of catcher collisions was raised in a meeting of general managers the other day, the sentiment in the room "was 100 percent," according to one official: The rules need to be changed. Nobody bothered arguing for the status quo, said several officials.
But now Major League Baseball will race against the clock in order to make the changes for 2014, and there is much work to be done. The new rules -- which could mirror those used at the amateur level that all but eliminate collisions at the plate -- must be determined. A system of redress must be created, for umpires within games and for Major League Baseball in case of an egregious offense worthy of suspension.
Joe Torre, the executive vice president of Major League Baseball, told the general managers that he will reach out to Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny -- both former big league catchers -- who have both been vocal in their call for a rule change, to help redefine what can or should not happen on plays at the plate.
Any new rules or intended enforcement will have to be reviewed and approved by the players' association, and given that a primary impetus for the whole discussion is player safety, it’s hard to imagine the union would present a major roadblock.