- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Investment, liability prompt MLB collision ban
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (AP) - Baseball officials are up front about this: They want to ban home-plate collisions to guard their investments.
Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, a three-time batting champion, is less than halfway through a $184 million, eight-year contract. He was limited 75 games at catcher this year in a concussion-shortened season.
Buster Posey, another batting champ, has a $167 million, nine-year deal. San Francisco wants to ensure that he doesn’t have another horrific injury like the one that ended his 2011 season.
That’s why Major League Baseball’s rules committee voted this week to prohibit runners from plowing into catchers. The rule will take effect next season if the players’ association agrees, and in 2015 if the union doesn’t.
“It’s a great change, We protect our assets,” Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday as the winter meetings ended. “Some of the things we’ve seen happen in the recent past _ Buster Posey, concussions with Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina getting blown up, they are some of the best players in the game. They mean so much to their team _the financial investments involved. And more importantly, the health of the individual.”
“Collisions at home plate can significantly alter your ability to win games,” said Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “I just think athletes today are bigger, faster, stronger, and the catchers are in significant danger of long-term injuries that we can avoid. I think the heightened awareness to concussions influences it quite a bit.”
Eleven players who were primarily catchers last season are signed to contracts running through 2016 and beyond, with a total of $565.45 million in remaining guaranteed salary, according to calculations by The Associated Press.
“How much is it that they’re paid a lot more than they used to be?” said New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee. “It’s a combination of those things. But I think what’s crystalized our thinking is probably the concussion issue. Try to be proactive.”
This year’s winter meetings likely will be remembered most for the rules decision. There were just six trades _ two more than during last year’s drab session in Nashville, Tenn. As the meetings ended, the Chicago Cubs acquired Justin Ruggiano from Miami in a swap of outfielders, and Seattle completed its $240 million, 10-year contract with All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, a deal agreed to last week.
Outfielder Michael Morse agreed to a $6 million, one-year deal with San Francisco, pending a physical. Right-hander Roberto Hernandez and Philadelphia stuck a one-year deal, a person familiar with the agreement told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because the pitcher was subject to a physical.
Crashes at home plate have been a baseball tradition and a staple of television highlight shows. Some traditionalists such as career hits leader Pete Rose are against a change.
But some in MLB management fear continuing the status quo could lead to possible liability.
“I think it’s always been in a lot of people’s minds as odd that we allow collisions there and we don’t really allow them at other bases,” Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten said. “I think it’s frankly overdue.”
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again