Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I'm still sticking with my opinion on the happenings of the Braves/Angels game a few nights back.

I'd like to see some point of separation between an acceptable point of contact at home plate and an unacceptable one, much like the difference between a good, hard slide at second base and interference being called against the runner. It's perfectly within the rules (both written and unwritten) to slide in hard at second base in order to break up a double-play, providing the baserunner slides within reach of the bag. If he slides outside his reach, then interference is called and the baserunner is out. I'd like something similar at home plate. I have absolutely no problem with a guy going in hard at home, as long as he's going for the plate. Darin Erstad peeked at the second baseman as he rounded third and knew his only option was to knock the ball loose; he KNEW he'd be thrown out otherwise. He went in like a full-back, head down and leading with his shoulder, went THROUGH Estrada (never for the plate), and then crawled over his prone body to tag the plate.

I agree that we've girlied up the game, what with taking the inside of the plate away from pitchers and so on, but a run is never going to be worth permanent injury or ending a player's career in my book.

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