Sunday, April 14, 2013

Should Baseball Catchers Practice Tackling?

Zach Greinke of the LA Dodgers is scheduled to make 21 million dollars salary this season.  A.J. Ellis was his catcher Thursday night when Greinke plunked Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres and Quentin subsequently charged the mound, ending up breaking Greinke's collarbone.

After reviewing the replay, it is obvious that Ellis moved way too slowly from his position to attempt to protect his couple of tens of millions a year valued, battery mate.  He just wasn't reacting quickly enough.

Without Greinke in the rotation, the Dodgers team and the fans suffer the entire consequences.  Greinke is an integral part in helping the team compete in a division with the returning champs, the San Francisco Giants, and other teams, who want nothing more than to be ahead of the Dodgers because of their highest payroll reputation.

With all this in mind, why didn't Ellis move faster to go after Quentin from behind?  He could have prevented this catastrophe for the Dodgers by stopping the mammoth Quentin from charging the mound, if he would have tackled him at his ankles, or something.

There have been plenty of other times in recent MLB history when catchers have done this, sometimes running in front of the charging player, or jumping on him at his shoulders.

If pitchers are so valuable, costing the amount of money to possibly research and cure cancer in one season, shouldn't teams start practicing these moves in Spring Training.

For pitchers, there are so many other ways to get hurt.  Line drives and overuse of the pitching arm are pretty common ones.  It's not necessary for pitchers to get hurt in insignificant ways, like trying to be macho.  There's too much on the line for fans and the organization.

The methods for catchers to run after the batter who is charging must become instinctual and in order for this to happen, it has to be practiced thoroughly.  Sounds like a crazy thing to practice, but with the costs of players the way they are, it becomes essential.

Catchers will have to start running for the pretend charging batter in practice while in Spring Training.  This is the only method to help try and guarantee the safety of the pitcher.

Catchers must give up themselves for the team.  They are behind the incensed batter and can remedy the situation quickly.  If the batter makes any approach at all with one little step or a fast charging step, the catcher must pounce.

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