Pete Rose, who famously flattened Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 1970 All-Star game, couldn't believe Major League Baseball intends to eliminate home-plate collisions by 2015 at the latest.
"What are they going to do next, you can't break up a double play?" Rose said in a telephone interview after MLB announced its plan Wednesday. "You're not allowed to pitch inside. The hitters wear more armor than the Humvees in Afghanistan. Now you're not allowed to try to be safe at home plate?"
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. saying the change would go into effect for next season if the players' association approved. Safety and concern over concussions were major factors -- fans still cringe at the thought of the season-ending hit Giants catcher Buster Posey absorbed in 2011.
"I just want to try to eliminate any injuries, severe injuries," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Whether it's a concussion or ankle, whatever."
Alderson said wording of the rules change will be presented to owners for approval at their Jan. 16 meeting in Arizona.
"The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to determination," he said.
The union declined to comment, pending a review of the proposed change. But some players spoke up on Twitter, including the A's Josh Reddick: "No more home plate collisions?! What is this? NFL quarterbacks are catchers now?"
Drafting the rule figures to be complicated.
"Does it include at every base or just home plate?" Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "What's considered blocking the plate and how do you define all of it?"
Mets: Free-agent right-hander Bartolo Colon and New York reached a two-year, $20 million deal, giving the Mets the starter they were seeking to replace injured ace Matt Harvey. The contract is pending a physical, a source said. Colon, 40, went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA for the A's in a 2013 season in which he began by completing a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test.
Dodgers: The agent for Matt Kemp says Los Angeles isn't trading the All-Star outfielder. Former A's star Dave Stewart met with G.M. Ned Colletti at the winter meetings. "For the time being they are not going to move him," Stewart said. Stewart said Kemp, who's coming off ankle and shoulder surgery, is on track to be ready for the upcoming season. Kemp is heading into the third year of an eight-year, $160 million contract.
Mariners: Seattle added two slugging first baseman-outfielders, reaching agreement on a one-year, $6 million deal with Corey Hart and getting Logan Morrison from Miami. Hart's deal, which includes incentives, is pending a physical. He missed last season with Milwaukee after knee surgery. Morrison was acquired for reliever Carter Capps.
Tigers: Former Giants and A's outfielder Rajai Davis and Detroit agreed on a two-year, $10 million deal. Davis, 33, hit .260 with six homers, 24 RBIs and 45 steals for Toronto in 2013.
Broadcasting award: Longtime Texas Rangers announcer Eric Nadel won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting. Other candidates included the late Bill King and Duane Kuiper. Nadel will be honored by the Hall of Fame on July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y.