Major League Baseball as we know it will change forever in the 2014 season, as base runners will no longer be allowed to collide with a catcher at home plate.  MLB is concerned about injuries, especially concussions, so they have made the rule change in order to protect the players.

Now that one of the most exciting plays in baseball will never happen again and with the safety of these multimillionaire big leaguers in mind, I've decided to offer 5 more ways to make baseball a safer game to play.

1.  PITCHING SCREENS - For years pitching screens have been used in batting practice to protect the batting practice pitchers from being struck by hard hit balls back to the mound.  The use of this simple piece of equipment would certainly prevent any pitchers from being drilled in the melon by a line drive.



2.  NO MORE HARD SLIDES TO BREAK UP A DOUBLE PLAY - Base runners sliding hard into 2nd base to break up a potential double play is super dangerous.  Middle infielders could be injured or the base runner himself.  I suggest an automatic ejection, suspension and fine to any player who intentionally slides hard in order to break up a double play.



3.  NO MORE HEADFIRST SLIDES - This one's obvious, folks.  Sliding head first into a base is an easy way to get hurt.  Again, any player who slides head first should be ejected, suspended and fined for such reckless behavior on the ball field.



4.  ALL INFIELDERS MUST WEAR FACE MASKS - Anybody who has ever played an infield position in baseball has certainly experienced the misfortune of taking a bad hop to the face.  A simple solution to the resulting fat lips, bloody noses and black eyes is to mandate that all infielders must wear face masks.  Baseballs are hard and they hurt when they hit you in the face.  Again, it's the safety of the players who make more money in a day than you make in a year that's important here, but even Little Leaguers are at risk!



5.  NO MORE RUNNING INTO OUTFIELD WALLS TO MAKE CATCHES - Some ballparks have a bit of padding on the outfield walls, but others still have hard, unforgiving walls that can lead to serious injury if a player runs full speed into them in an attempt to make a play.  For example, Chicago's Wrigley Field has a brick wall that not even a healthy batch of ivy can cushion.  End this madness!  Any player who intentionally puts his safety at risk by running hard into a wall should be banished from the game forever for setting such a dangerous example to kids who one day hope to make a ton of money playing the game they love.



Baseball has been played since the mid 1850's in this country.  It's about time we really get serious about making it a safer game to play.  If my suggestions don't prove to prevent injuries, then perhaps the game itself should be banned.  God forbid another highly paid professional ballplayer suffer a concussion or any other injury as a result of participating in a game that's supposed to be fun.

In my life, I've risked my health and safety on hundreds of occasions playing baseball in youth leagues, high school and men's leagues.  At the age of 36, I am now retired and thankful to be healthy, however, I should probably get my head examined because only an insane individual with absolutely no regard for his own personal safety would ever choose to play a life-threatening game like baseball.


Shaffee putting himself in danger playing baseball for the Atlanta Muckdogs in 2011.
Shaffee putting himself in danger playing baseball for the Atlanta Muckdogs in 2011.