PITTSBURGH - At a time when the NFL and NHL are stepping up measures for player safety, MLB is contemplating its most dangerous play.
The issue is full-speed collisions at home plate, where runners are allowed to run over catchers trying to protect the plate.
It became an issue last week when Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants sustained a serious leg injury after being hit by Florida's Scott Cousins.
These collisions don't happen often, but the toll can be severe.
The most famous case is the 1970 All-Star game, when Pete Rose bowled over Ray Fosse, then of the Cleveland Indians.
Fosse had a shoulder injury and was never the same player.
The argument against Rose's charge was that it came in an exhibition game. It was legal, though.
The Pirates had linebacker-sized Dave Parker in the 1970s and he was 2-1 in home plate crashes.
Parker put Philadelphia's Johnny Oates out for two months after a fearsome collision on opening day of 1976.
Parker also had a high-impact meeting with Steve Yeager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Parker lost when he slammed into John Stearns of the New York Mets. Parker tried to score on a fly ball, but Stearns held the ball for a game-ending double play.
Parker broke his cheek on the play and returned to the lineup wearing a hockey goalie's mask, then a football-styled facemask to protect his injury.
It's an ugly business, but what's the answer?
The runner is often at as much risk as the catcher.
The Posey incident gets a lot of attention because Posey is one of the Giants' best players.
But the collisions aren't frequent enough to merit any rules change.
Catchers don't have to block the plate. Some catchers are more comfortable standing in front of the plate, then diving at the runner.
Those who plant themselves accept the risks, which can be considerable.