In recent years both the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) has changed rules to pretty much ban any blow to the head regardless of intent.
The Major Baseball League (MBL) has not. Why not?
The primary example of such a blow is a pitcher releasing a ball traveling faster than 90 miles per hour (MPH) from about 55 feet away and the ball hitting the batter in the head. Probably the next most frequent occurrence would be a base runner crashing into a catcher at home plate.
Both of these situations could easily be addressed by making them against the rules with severe penalties such as:
- first incident: one month suspension
- second incident: one year suspension
- third incident: lifetime suspension.
One of the charges being presented against Alex Rodriguez today at his hearing is that Rodriguez frustrated the commissioner, Allen Huber "Bud" Selig. Rodriguez was suspended 121 games in August: the remainder of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season. Rodriguez appealed, which is why there is a hearing. Given that Rodriguez is already 38 years old and that he did not start to play until August because of his second major hip surgery, such a penalty would be a baseball death sentence.
Blow to the head versus frustrating the commissioner. Which is worse?