By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) The new rule that bans most collisions at home plate in baseball has confused some players.
The “Buster Posey rule” now states that a baserunner must take a direct lane to home plate, thus eliminating a purposeful takeout of the catcher. White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, for one, has no other move since he is void of foot speed.
In the past, the intimidation factor of a man the size of Dunn bearing in on a catcher was real, but that won’t be the case any longer.
“It will be interesting,” Dunn said. “I am always thinking about it (taking out the catcher). I don’t have shin guards or a chest protector and helmet on. I really did not realize that this was that big of a problem. I always thought it was foul balls off the mask, not collisions that caused (a head injury). Apparently, I am wrong.”
Dunn said he may lose playing time when his manager realizes that he can’t take out the catcher to score a run. interestingly, he also sees the chance of more injuries due to the new base running rules.
“I can see leg (and) finger (injuries),” Dunn said. “Guys are going to have to slide, which means more head-first slides. I don’t know, it has only been that way for 100 and something years.”
Paul Konerko has a different perspective on the rule change. He believes you are giving the umpire way to much to decide, if actual intent to make contact rather than be safe is part of the process.
“It is kind of like when they think a guy is throwing intentionally at someone,” Konerko said. “They have to decide to throw them out. I am thinking the reaction most of the time will be in favor of the catcher. This rule is about protecting the catcher. The runners should adjust quick. I am predicting the fade-away slide and the catcher swipe to go with the little dance of coming back to the plate.”
Bruce Levine is a baseball reporter/analyst for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.