ORLANDO – Saying they “just can’t take the pace any more,” officials with Major League Baseball announced this week that they were taking steps to prohibit home-plate collisions for the 2014 season, effectively killing the last vestige of tension or excitement present in the sport.
Citing possible injuries to the players, Sandy Alderson, chairman of MLB’s rules committee, said that—pending approval—collisions at home plate in which a baserunner attempts to knock the ball loose from the catcher, will be replaced by a mandatory slide. “That’s way better for my heart,” Alderson said, and should also ensure that all runners tagged out.
“Those of us who truly love baseball are getting on in years, and we can’t really take the sport’s breakneck, nail-biting mood,” Alderson said. “Now young baseball fans can enjoy the game the way it was meant to be enjoyed: not at all, while you mostly listen to your father or grandfather drone on about politics and how much cheaper the hotdogs used to be.
“You don’t really want to have to pay attention to a baseball game,” Alderson continued, nodding as he spoke. “You want to be mostly bored and possibly a little drunk, and to find out what’s happening with a quick look at the scoreboard; this isn’t football, after all – it shouldn’t be physically demanding for players. Now we can watch our four-hour pastoral games of catch in peace.”
Alderson added: “Huzzah!”
The MLB safety update would follow 20th century rules changes that included making all players wear helmets, allowing designated hitters, and a steroid prohibition program effectively enforced by the honor system. More proposed changes include banning smokeless tobacco, further narrowing the strike zone and Wiffle bats.
The collision rule shift still must be approved by the MLB Players Association, but should they fail to do so, MLB can force the change by 2015. Initial player reaction has been muted.
“I’m basically asleep during these games anyways,” said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, “so sure, ban collisions at home, why not.”