New MLB Home Plate Collision Rule Put in Place

This year’s new home plate collision rule was announced during sprint training in March. As we previously shared, the rule seems based on the NCAA baseball rule and, in our opinion, make good sense for player safety.

There have already been a few incidents this sprint where catchers have seemed confused about how or when they can block the plate during a close play. Hopefully we don’t see those type of missteps during the regular season but either way, this rule is for the better. Here is the rule according to the MLB.

Collisions at home plate
A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other baserunners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision.

Rule 7.13 comment: The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 7.13. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 7.13. A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner’s buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. In the case of a head first slide, a runner shall be deemed to have slid appropriately if his body should hit the ground before contact with the catcher.

Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 7.13 if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable.


You can read more about this topic here.

MLB Collision Rule Coming

Update: MLB announced the new collision rule.

Spring Training has kicked-off and while Major League Baseball has a new set of replay rules there is one other rule change looming that still doesn’t have a resolution. Both the players union and the owners want to reach an agreement on an new home plate collision rule. The goal seems simple and reasonable, reduce the number of injuries due to collision. But once you begin to dig into the details it begins to be a very complicated set of rules.

Many experts and analysis expect a new rule to be finalized before the start of the regular season, but the players and coaches will need enough time to practice new techniques and teach the new rules so there is a chance we don’t see a finalized rule until 2015.

Some believe the rules will largely be based on the NCAA rules currently in effect. They state, “If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line with clear possession of the ball, the runner may make contact, slide into or make contract with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base (plate). Contact above the waist that was initiated by the base-runner shall not be judged as an attempt to reach the base or plate.”

Joe Torre, while speaking on the topic, had this to say, “There’s not going to be a lack of contact. There’s going to be some inadvertent contact that you’re not going to be able to avoid because the catcher has to catch the ball,” which would lead us to believe the rule that does get finalized will have a good deal of common sense attached to it. One of the larger concerns when any rule is changed is the unexpected consequences that follow. For example, the NFL is often under fire for their new contact rules, in part because of the penalties and fines leaved against players who sometimes feel they are just trying to play the game and not trying to injure other players.

Do you think the addition of a contact rule is needed in Major League Baseball?

MLB MVP Awards

Every year Major League Baseball awards an MVP (Most Valuable Player) to two outstanding players – one in the American League and one in the National League . The award is selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America by a vote before the post season. The winners are announced after the World Series.

Below are past MVP award winners.

American League
Year Player Team Pos.
2013 Miguel Cabrera Detroit 3B
2012 Miguel Cabrera Detroit 3B
2011 Justin Verlander Detroit P
2010 Josh Hamilton Texas OF
2009 Joe Mauer Minnesota C
2008 Dustin Pedroia Boston 2B
2007 Alex Rodriguez New York 3B
2006 Justin Morneau Minnesota 1B
2005 Alex Rodriguez New York 3B
2004 Vladimir Guerrero Anaheim RF
2003 Alex Rodriguez Texas SS
2002 Miguel Tejada Oakland SS
2001 Ichiro Suzuki Seattle RF
2000 Jason Giambi Oakland 1B
1999 Ivan Rodriguez Texas C
1998 Juan Gonzalez Texas OF
1997 Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle OF
1996 Juan Gonzalez Texas OF
1995 Mo Vaughn Boston 1B
1994 Frank Thomas Chicago 1B
1993 Frank Thomas Chicago 1B
1992 Dennis Eckersley Oakland P
1991 Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore SS
1990 Rickey Henderson Oakland OF
1989 Robin Yount Milwaukee OF
1988 Jose Canseco Oakland OF
1987 George Bell Toronto OF
1986 Roger Clemens Boston P
1985 Don Mattingly New York 1B
1984 Willie Hernandez Detroit P
1983 Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore SS
1982 Robin Yount Milwaukee SS
1981 Rollie Fingers Milwaukee P
1980 George Brett Kansas City 3B
1979 Don Baylor California OF
1978 Jim Rice Boston OF
1977 Rod Carew Minnesota 1B
1976 Thurman Munson New York C
1975 Fred Lynn Boston OF
1974 Jeff Burroughs Texas OF
1973 Reggie Jackson Oakland OF
1972 Richie Allen Chicago 1B
1971 Vida Blue Oakland P
1970 Boog Powell Baltimore 1B
1969 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota 1B/3B
1968 Denny McLain Detroit P
1967 Carl Yastrzemski Boston OF
1966 Frank Robinson Baltimore OF
1965 Zoilo Versalles Minnesota SS
1964 Brooks Robinson Baltimore 3B
1963 Elston Howard New York C
1962 Mickey Mantle New York OF
1961 Roger Maris New York OF
1960 Roger Maris New York OF
1959 Nellie Fox Chicago 2B
1958 Jackie Jensen Boston OF
1957 Mickey Mantle New York OF
1956 Mickey Mantle New York OF
1955 Yogi Berra New York C
1954 Yogi Berra New York C
1953 Al Rosen Cleveland 3B
1952 Bobby Shantz Philadelphia P
1951 Yogi Berra New York C
1950 Phil Rizzuto New York SS
1949 Ted Williams Boston OF
1948 Lou Boudreau Cleveland SS
1947 Joe DiMaggio New York OF
1946 Ted Williams Boston OF
1945 Hal Newhouser Detroit P
1944 Hal Newhouser Detroit P
1943 Spud Chandler New York P
1942 Joe Gordon New York 2B
1941 Joe DiMaggio New York OF
1940 Hank Greenberg Detroit OF
1939 Joe DiMaggio New York OF
1938 Jimmie Foxx Boston 1B
1937 Charlie Gehringer Detroit 2B
1936 Lou Gehrig New York 1B
1935 Hank Greenberg Detroit 1B
1934 Mickey Cochrane Detroit C
1933 Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia 1B
1932 Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia 1B
1931 Lefty Grove Philadelphia P
National League
Year Player Team Pos.
2013 Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh OF
2012 Buster Posey San Francisco C
2011 Ryan Braun Milwaukee OF
2010 Joey Votto Cincinnati 1B
2009 Albert Pujols St. Louis 1B
2008 Albert Pujols St. Louis 1B
2007 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia SS
2006 Ryan Howard Philadelphia 1B
2005 Albert Pujols St. Louis 1B
2004 Barry Bonds San Francisco LF
2003 Barry Bonds San Francisco LF
2002 Barry Bonds San Francisco LF
2001 Barry Bonds San Francisco LF
2000 Jeff Kent San Francisco 2B
1999 Chipper Jones Atlanta 3B
1998 Sammy Sosa Chicago OF
1997 Larry Walker Colorado OF
1996 Ken Caminiti San Diego 3B
1995 Barry Larkin Cincinnati SS
1994 Jeff Bagwell Houston 1B
1993 Barry Bonds San Francisco OF
1992 Barry Bonds Pittsburgh OF
1991 Terry Pendleton Atlanta 3B
1990 Barry Bonds Pittsburgh OF
1989 Kevin Mitchell San Francisco OF
1988 Kirk Gibson Los Angeles OF
1987 Andre Dawson Chicago OF
1986 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 3B
1985 Willie McGee St. Louis OF
1984 Ryne Sandberg Chicago 2B
1983 Dale Murphy Atlanta OF
1982 Dale Murphy Atlanta OF
1981 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 3B
1980 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia 3B
1979 Keith Hernandez
Willie Stargell
St. Louis
1978 Dave Parker Pittsburgh OF
1977 George Foster Cincinnati OF
1976 Joe Morgan Cincinnati 2B
1975 Joe Morgan Cincinnati 2B
1974 Steve Garvey Los Angeles 1B
1973 Pete Rose Cincinnati OF
1972 Johnny Bench Cincinnati C
1971 Joe Torre St. Louis 3B
1970 Johnny Bench Cincinnati C
1969 Willie McCovey San Francisco 1B
1968 Bob Gibson St. Louis P
1967 Orlando Cepeda St. Louis 1B
1966 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh OF
1965 Willie Mays San Francisco OF
1964 Ken Boyer St. Louis 3B
1963 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles P
1962 Maury Wills Los Angeles SS
1961 Frank Robinson Cincinnati OF
1960 Dick Groat Pittsburgh SS
1959 Ernie Banks Chicago SS
1958 Ernie Banks Chicago SS
1957 Hank Aaron Milwaukee OF
1956 Don Newcombe Brooklyn P
1955 Roy Campanella Brooklyn C
1954 Willie Mays New York OF
1953 Roy Campanella Brooklyn C
1952 Hank Sauer Chicago OF
1951 Roy Campanella Brooklyn C
1950 Jim Konstanty Philadelphia P
1949 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn 2B
1948 Stan Musial St. Louis OF
1947 Bob Elliott Boston 3B
1946 Stan Musial St. Louis 1B
1945 Phil Cavarretta Chicago 1B
1944 Marty Marion St. Louis SS
1943 Stan Musial St. Louis OF
1942 Mort Cooper St. Louis P
1941 Dolph Camilli Brooklyn 1B
1940 Frank McCormick Cincinnati 1B
1939 Bucky Walters Cincinnati P
1938 Ernie Lombardi Cincinnati C
1937 Joe Medwick St. Louis OF
1936 Carl Hubbell New York P
1935 Gabby Hartnett Chicago C
1934 Dizzy Dean St. Louis P
1933 Carl Hubbell New York P
1932 Chuck Klein Philadelphia OF
1931 Frankie Frisch St. Louis 2B


2013 World Series Umpires – MLB

Major League Baseball has released the names of the umpires for the 2013 MLB World Series. The six member crew will consist of:

  • John Hirschbeck – Crew Chief
  • Dana DeMuth
  • Paul Emmel
  • Jim Joyce
  • Bill Miller
  • Mark Wgner

This elite crew will officiate all seven games between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. This is John Hirshbeck’s 17th playoff series and his 4th World Series.

The 2013 World Series will be shown nationally on FOX.

John Hirschbeck


MLB Umpire Frank Pulli (father of instant replay) Dies

Former NL umpire Frank Pulli died recently at the age 78 from complications from Parkinson’s Decease. Pulli umpired from 1972 to 1999 and worked 4 World Series, 6 league championship series and 2 All-Star games. He was 1 of 22 umpires who lost their jobs in the resignations orchestrated by Richie Phillips, then the head of the umpires’ union.

Pulli’s death comes at a time when the MLB is looking to introduce more instant replay to the game. There is a great deal of controversy around most rule changes, especially those that include the use of video or other technology to assist umpires, but Frank Pulli can serve as a reminder that while we should carefully consider every rule change, the true goal of an umpire is to make the right call. Nearly 15 years ago, Pulli entered a cameraman’s booth to review a play, that was ruled a home run, on the man’s video monitor years before such reviews were allowed. He overturned his own call and ruled the play a double.

Umpire IQ – The App

Recently we got our hands on the ABUA sponsored tablet app for iPad and Android. Since many of our readers are looking to improve their baseball rule knowledge, we thought you all would like to read a quick review of the application so you can decide if it’s worth the price.

Simply put the Umpire IQ app is an interactive quiz that aims to test and teach you the rules of baseball. It is officially sponsored by the ABUA (American Baseball Umpires Association) and Jim Evans. The app have a number of categories like “batter interference” and “improper batting order” but they do charge you $0.99 for each so if you do get really into the app it can get a little expensive – but maybe it may be worth the price for the serious fan and/or umpire. We must admit that he game/app/quiz is a lot of fun.

Umpire IQ App Screen Shot

Google Play / Android – download >>

iTunes / iPad – download >>



Miss Called Strike Ends Game

On May 14th, 2013, in the top of the ninth inning of the Yankees – Mariners game, with the score 4-3 in favor of the home team Yankees, Michael Morse was called out by Jerry Layne on this pitch. Yikes. There has been a lot of debate recently about MLB using new technology to assist umpires with ball and strike calls and whenever there is a close play like this that determines the fate of a game, fans baseball pundits jump at the chance to share their opinions.

Miss called strike


Human error is a very real and very natural thing. And baseball umpires are human. Opponents of using ball/strike assistance technology often argue that baseball is a human game and human error needs to be part of that. But when you have pitchers, like Mariano Rivera here, who seem to often get calls like this (maybe because of who they are), should we just turn a blind eye? Or should Major League Baseball take action? This call ended a very close game and with Michael Morse at the plate, the next pitch could have easily ended up the in seats.

What are you thoughts on MLB taking corrective action when it comes to ball/strike calls? Should umpires be held more accountable?

MLB: Angel Hernandez Blew the Call

The day after MLB umpire crew chief Angel Hernandez failed to reverse an obvious home run after reviewing replay footage, MLB executive VP Joe Torre came out stated that an ‘improper call’ was made in the 9th inning of Oakland’s 3-4 loss to Cleveland.

During the statement, Torre had this to say, “By rule, the decision to reverse a call by use of instant replay is at the sole discretion of the crew chief… In the opinion of Angel Hernandez, who was last night’s crew chief, there was not clear and convincing evidence to overturn the decision on the field. It was a judgment call, and as such, it stands as final.”


When a major umpiring error like, it bring into focus a few topics that are largely discussed in the baseball and umpiring worlds. One of which is the validity of the video replay in the sport. There is little doubt in my mind, after seeing the replay that this should have been ruled a home run, but if Angel Hernandez and his crew felt that the footage was not conclusive enough to overturn the call on the field, should we blame them?
What do you think, did MLB handle the situation right be coming out and saying Hernandez blew the call but also standing by his call? How should MLB address matters like this? Let us know in the comments section.