For quite a while now I've been in favor of outlawing collisions at home plate. Player safety is paramount of course. There's also the selfish aspect of it for me as a fan. I like watching Yadier Molina play baseball too much to be in favor of a rule that encourages runners to plow into him full bore and injure him. Another reason: I like watching slides more than collisions. It's more fun.
I had not considered the possibility of leap until last night.
It was the first inning. Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto was on the hill. With the St. Louis Cardinals trailing 1-0 thanks to a first-inning Joey Votto home run, Carpenter led the bottom of the first off with a double and advanced to third base on a Jason Heyward groundout. Matt Holliday strode to the plate and, after working a full count, lifted a fly ball to shallow center field. Billy Hamilton caught the ball with his momentum plateward and fired a dart home. My typed words cannot do what happened next justice. To the video:
MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reported on the play after speaking with Carpenter. The two-time All-Star described what could be interpreted as divine intervention by the baseball gods:
"I'm just trying to score," said Carpenter after the Cardinals' 6-1 victory at Busch Stadium. "You're running through all the different scenarios in your mind. Basically, I had two options. I could either run through him or try to go around him. Initially, I was just going to go right through him and at the last minute, I felt the need to go over him. Honestly, it was just a reaction and ended up working out."
The interesting thing about this play is that Brayan Peña, the Reds catcher, moved into the baseline while attempting to make a play on the throw. Under Rule 7.13 Carpenter likely could have barreled into Peña but he didn't. Carpenter opted instead for an aerial route to the plate. Thank the gods of baseball he did. This play is way more entertaining than a home-plate collision.