KUSA - The NFL isn't the only league taking a look at big time collisions and how they affect players. Normally baseball isn't considered a contact sport, but ask any catcher and he'll tell you: when he's watching a runner come from home from 2nd, it can be downright scary.

The rules are changing for runner vs catcher, at least for 2014. MLB's latest rule gives more protection for catchers and far less tackling potential for base runners.

"For the catchers, it's nice to know they can't come in, head hunt us and take us out," explains Rockies catcher Jordan Pacheco.

"It's really hard because most of the time, we receive the ball late," adds Colorado catcher Wilin Rosario. "So they come in with their speed, plus weight, (and) when they hit us, it's really (a lot of) damage that they do."

The new rule, 7.13, states "a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate)." A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.
Rule 7.13 means some guys will have to change their mindset.

"You've got guys like Michael Cuddyer who play this game hard, they play this game tough and they play it right," says Pacheco. "When you get that guy on 3rd base and he's coming in, he's going to do anything to win, so it's definitely going to be an adjustment for guys."

The rule is an experience for 2014. If it stays in place beyond this season, it may keep catchers around much longer.

"I think that we catchers can play more time in the big leagues," says Rosario. "The regular time for catchers, I think, is like 7 (to) 10 years. But, I think if we do (this rule) all of our career after this year, it's going to maybe (result in) more time behind the plate."

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