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The catcher wasn’t in the way, but who cares about a minor detail like that?

A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).

Here’s the thing, Rizzo: pretty much straight in is 1) not what happened and 2) not the same thing as straight in. It’s clear, watching that video, that Rizzo went to his left to collide with Hedges, when he had a perfectly clear route to the plate to his right that wouldn’t have involved crashing into the backstop. In fact, if Rizzo had done that instead of his game on approach, he might have scored a run there.

The catcher wasn’t in the way, but who cares about a minor detail like that? It’s not like Maddon’s and Rizzo’s arguments hinge on that or anything. This also isn’t new territory for Maddon, who thinks slamming into the catcher to score a run is a thing to practice in spring training:

Marwin Gonzalez is eating locks of Ben Zobrist’s hair. It’s the only explanation. Unless he severed Lance Berkman’s arms and ground up his bones to make a medicinal powder. If neither of those are the case, I have several other theories that get much darker.

After three years of a sub-.300 OBP and a 90 OPS+, I refuse to believe that the 28-year-old Gonzalez is a superweapon now. While it’s noteworthy that he’s three walks away from his career high — in 355 fewer plate appearances compared to last season and the change in his approach could explain a lot, I’ll err on the side of the previous five seasons.

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I watched all 31 stolen bases against Miguel Montero so you don’t have to

Posey’s injury had a great deal to do with the eventual rule, for sure. But it was just a brick in a larger wall. Eventually people realized it was absurd to keep running into that wall, head first. The setting of Avila’s injury crystallized an argument that was already clear, and it was a fresh data point to discuss that offseason.

Now that we’ve got the history lesson out of the way, here’s the other thing that bothers me about Maddon’s opinions when it comes to home-plate collisions: They’re dumb. Incredibly dumb. I’ve been on this beat for years, and my side won. We have occupied the dummies, and we have kicked them out of power. It’s over. There are occasional wussification grenades thrown in our direction, but nothing we can’t handle. Or mute.

The home-plate collision used to be the only time in a baseball game when it was acceptable for a runner to attempt to get the ball out of a fielder’s mitt. It wasn’t any different than this:

On Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Nationals stole seven bases against Jake Arrieta and Miguel Montero. It was a historically humiliating performance, the worst one either member of the battery has ever had. It was the kind of day that can make players snap.

He’s in the right place for this career move, too. You think Tim Wakefield converted to the knuckler and the mound after years of success as a position player? Wakefield spent his early 20s hitting as poorly in the low minors as Tebow has, and he switched to pitching full time at 23.

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