Gibbons doesn't want catchers changing approach

TAMPA, Fla. -- Don't count manager John Gibbons among those who believe catchers should take a different approach when it comes to blocking the plate.

The debate on collisions at home resurfaced again this week after it was revealed the Mets told former Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud they don't want him to stand in the way of the runner.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also came out recently and said Major League Baseball should adopt a rule change to protect catchers after prominent stars like San Francisco's Buster Posey have gone down to serious injuries in recent years.

"Play it like the game has always been played," Gibbons said. "Injuries are freak things. If a guy gets one at home plate, it's usually pretty serious, so that's the only problem with that.

"If you look at it, [catchers] drift out anyways. Very rarely they'll hold their ground -- unless it's important and a game-winning run. The big complaint was they start leaking out. Now they catch the ball out here and they have to swipe tag and end up missing the guy, so you're like, 'Hey, hold your ground.'"

Gibbons knows a thing or two about this issue. He was a promising catcher in the Mets' system and was expected to be the starter in 1984 until he received a cheap-shot elbow to the face during a collision at home.

The impact shattered Gibbons' jaw, and he ended up missing a significant amount of time because of injury. The former first-round pick went on to appear in just 10 games at the Major League level that season and never earned another shot at the top job.

Gibbons also had a big collision with Pete Rose later that same year, but this time Toronto's manager came out on top.

"Actually, Pete landed on the ground and I stayed up," Gibbons said with a big smile. "I even have the picture if you'd like to verify that."