Protecting Catchers is not the answer

Ever since the Buster Posey injury a few weeks ago it has been an endless stream of criticism and banter about trying to protect the catchers much like they do quarterbacks in the NFL. The only thing is that if you start to try and twist the rules to start protecting players then it will open up a Pandora’s box to lead to other things. I am all for protecting players from getting injured if there is a perceived injury threat that could be helped. But if you start to try and protect catchers from doing what they need to do, then you are altering the game in a way that will make it worse.

Injuries are going to be part of sports, whether we like or not, and sometimes those injuries are going to happen to the big name players that we don’t want to see get injured. One of the jobs of the catcher is to protect home plate when there is going to be a close play and try to keep the runners from scoring with ease. And yes this has led to potential dangerous collisions, but for every injury that has happened because of these, there are hundreds more where nothing bad happened except for maybe a SportsCenter highlight.

It was the talk of protecting the quarterbacks in football that started what will be perceived by some as the downfall of the sport and now baseball is starting down that dangerous path. I am not against protecting players from injuries that could be prevented, but at the same time injuries are a part of sports whether we want them to be or not. I have applauded the leagues for finding ways to protect players from serious head injuries, but don’t take a way an exciting part of the game that was just one bad incident that a star player gets injured. Chances are if this play was run 100 times, the times where it ended with an injury would be in the single digits. As a fan, I plead with Major League Baseball to not change the rules and let the players play and do what they do best.

2011 Major League Baseball Preview

It is that time of year again, the start of the baseball season is coming up fast, and I have poured over hundreds of breakdowns and watched hours of expert analysis to come up with this outlook on how I think this season will go. Ok, maybe not…I haven’t really done a lot of research on this, but I do have a gut feeling about the teams and I am basing my picks on my gut feeling. There have been a lot of changes, and some teams have improved, but I think it will be a fun season. It better be to tolerate a 162 game season. So without further ado, here is my gut feeling on this season.

American League:

AL East:
The AL East is pretty much looking like a 3 team race(again) but the Rays look like they have fallen off from last season, so it may be up to the Red Sox and the Yankees to decide the fate of this division. But watch out for the Orioles, Buck Showalter is jawing and he could have this team be a surprise before the year is out.

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central:
This division is pretty much cut and dry, the Twins and the White Sox hold the key to the penthouse. It will be a dog fight to see who is the tennant at the end of the year and gets that coveted playoff spot.

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Kansas City Royals

AL West:
Last season the Rangers came almost out of nowhere to surpise the entire league and win the division, which led to the American League Pennant. This season, the West almost looks even top to bottom. The only team that probably won’t be able to keep pace is Seattle, but the other three teams will be clawing for the division title and could even steal a wild card spot from one of the other division teams.

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem
  3. Oakland A’s
  4. Seattle Mariners

There you have it, the American league is very similar to last years final standings, but there will be a couple suprises this year and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team come out of nowhere to steal a playoff spot. Now it is time to tackle the National League.

National League:

NL East:
This is the easiest NL division to decide, barring any major injuries, this division should belong to Philidelphia.

  1. Philidelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Washington Nationals
  5. New York Mets

NL Central:
Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that this division will be the tightest division in all of baseball and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a loveable loser win the division and make a long playoff run out of the Central.

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Cincinati Reds
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West:
Once agian, this division is the Giants and I think the other teams will give them a run, but without any real offseason changes, this should be another west title for the bay area boys.

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. San Diego Padres
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Los Angeles Dodgers

There you have the NL breakdown, some what surprising but some what expected also. This should a be a fun season across the board, and I am looking forward to watching the season shape up and progress. Well, at least until Football season kicks off. Just remember, I took this off of gut instinct and didn’t do any long analysis of this. So if I am completly wrong, then I didn’t lose any sleep over researching this.

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