There has been some buzz around baseball for the last couple of days regarding the play that likely cost San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey the rest of his season. After being barreled over by the Florida Marlins' Scott Cousins at home plate near the end of Wednesday night's game, the potential superstar fractured his leg and tore three ligaments in his ankle.
While many (including Cousins himself) believe the play was clean under current Major League Baseball rules, others are speculating as to whether those rules should in fact be changed.
The main arguments are for new provisions requiring the catcher to leave the plate open and/or requiring the runner to avoid contact with the catcher. But the main detractors of these ideas are those who cite baseball's tradition, "the way the game has always been played."
Yes, baseball is centered largely on tradition, and it's one of the hundreds of things that makes this game so remarkable. But all sports also go through some evolution, particularly in response to concerns about player safety. (See: NFL concussions.)
So, while the following changes will likely not be made in the near future, let's explore some possible ways that baseball could make the game safer for its players.
Note: I do not actually promote any of these hypothetical rule changes. I'm simply considering them as possibilities. It seems to me that, if enough of a debate has started over home-plate collisions, there should at least be a conversation about other dangerous plays in baseball.
Ultimately, however, I think it's impractical to try to change rules like this, especially in such a reactionary manner. There are simply too many plays in which a player can get injured to try to modify them all. It is a noble objective, indeed, but an impossible one to fulfill.