The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

National Sports

December 13, 2013

Injuries, losses prompting MLB to seek collision ban

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Baseball officials are up front about this: They want to ban home plate collisions to guard their investments.

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, a former MVP and three-time batting champion, is less than halfway through a $184 million, eight-year contract. He was limited to 75 games at catcher this year in a concussion-shortened season.

Buster Posey, another MVP and 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.”

Boston’s David Ross, Detroit’s Alex Avila, Oakland’s John Jaso and Kansas City’s Salvador Perez all missed time because of concussions this year.

“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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

  • Wainwright two-hits Nats

    WASHINGTON — Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals’ 8-0 victory....

    April 18, 2014

  • Rangers edge M’s

    ARLINGTON, Texas — When Kevin Kouzmanoff was riding the buses in Double-A two seasons ago, he kept his focus on returning to the majors and providing the kind of production that he is now delivering for the Texas Rangers....

    April 18, 2014