MLB

MLB votes to ban home-plate collisions

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Officials of Major League Baseball are set to ban home plate collisions by 2015 in response to a series of dangerous incidents.

Sandy Alderson, general manager of the New York Mets and chairman of the rules committee, announced the decision after Wednesday's winter meeting.

The hope is the rules can be in place for the 2014 season but must be approved by the player's association before it can be drafted in.

The rule change has come in response to the NFL's $765m court settlement in concussion-related lawsuits. Recently, a group of ice hockey players has sued the NHL last month over brain trauma.

"Ultimately what we want to do is change the culture of acceptance that these plays are ordinary and routine and an accepted part of the game," said Alderson in a statement.

"The costs associated in terms of health and injury just no longer warrant the status quo."

News of the new legislation has been mixed since the announcement.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who are both former catchers, both support the rule change.

"I'm proud of the league for taking a step forward," Matheny said to reporters this week. "I just believe it's something that we can't turn a blind eye to, what's going on in these other sports. Let's learn from what's going on there and see if we can't make our sport better."

All-star catcher Mike Scioscia was a formidable home-plate blocker in his day and even he believes modifications need to be made.

"I think everyone is in agreement that the mindless collisions at home plate where a catcher is being targeted by a runner, that needs to be addressed,' the Los Angeles Angels manager said to reporters.

"When I was growing up as a kid in Philadelphia, it was a badge of honour. You were expected to hang in at the plate, and the runner was expected to do everything he could to tag the plate.

"We're going back 40 years ago, but the mindset has changed a bit."

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