A.J. Pierzynski is old school and scrappy and doesn’t need the fussy old nannies at MLB creating rules to protect him from punishing his limbs and cranium on the field.
That’s why A.J. is saying thanks but no thanks on the new home plate collision rule, which MLB will begin enforcing on an “experimental” basis starting this year.
“I disagree with it,” Pierzynski told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. “I understand why they’re doing it, but next, they’re going to tell us that you can’t slide into the guy at second base.
“It’s one of those things, as a big-league catcher, I signed up for it. You never want to see guys get hurt, and you never want to see guys go down because of it, but it’s part of the game you signed up for.”
The new rule, a slight modification of the stricter one originally proposed, allows for collisions only if the runner remains in the baseline and only if contact is initiated while the catcher is holding the ball. These plays will be subject to video review.
So basically, you can’t go out of your way to slam a catcher just for the sake of slamming him. The collision has to come as part of a legitimate effort to go through the catcher for the purposes of scoring.
Critics argue the rule will only further overtax umpires who are already asked to do too much, but the replay element somewhat mitigates this.
It’s not surprising guys like A.J. Pierzynski are against the rule. That guy’s crazy and probably wants to get hurt. Somebody ask Buster Posey how he feels.
By and large, I think the rule is reasonable. Collisions are fun but having one of your favorite players go out for an extended period of time because of some dumb manly-man thing is decidedly not fun.