SARASOTA, Fla. -- Manager John Farrell chimed in on Wednesday on the debate regarding the banning of home-plate collisions.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a former catcher, recently expressed his support of the movement. Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, also a former catcher, has been leading that charge since his backstop, Buster Posey, sustained gruesome leg and ankle injuries on May 25, 2011.
"You want the aggressiveness to always remain in the game, but yet, at the same time, when a catcher can be opened up for, in some cases, a very severe injury, you almost have to listen to the comments of Mike and Bruce Bochy, former catchers that have probably sustained a severe injury from it," Farrell said. "Their comments probably resonate more than those who have not been back there.
"I take the view of the game from a traditional standpoint, and you want good, hard play as long as it's not a cheap shot. Where do you draw the line, though, on a play at the plate? If it's a hard slide that makes contact, maybe just a mandatory slide rather than just a head-up, full-on-blown collision, I can see the merit of preserving guys' health."
Farrell has never been directly involved in a collision like Posey's but has seen plenty from across the field, agreeing they can be "scary" to watch.
Asked whether he has told his catchers to avoid contact in a similar situation, he said, "The way they're schooled, the way they're taught, there's a way to receive that ball and still protect the plate and cover themselves.
"The one thing you can't guard against is, that catcher trying to receive a throw, is he thinking whether the guy's going to slide? There's really only one way to go about it, and that's to protect the plate and at the same time cover themselves up to protect themselves."