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Lavarnway, Butterfield discuss plate collisions

Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- Ryan Lavarnway knows how he feels about MLB's plan to eliminate home-plate collisions, and it has to do with sponge baths.

During a Little League game in eighth grade, Lavarnway was on the wrong end of a slide when an opposing runner tried to score. He broke two bones in an ankle and spent three months in a full leg cast, hence the less-than-ideal cleaning method.

BOSTON -- Ryan Lavarnway knows how he feels about MLB's plan to eliminate home-plate collisions, and it has to do with sponge baths.

During a Little League game in eighth grade, Lavarnway was on the wrong end of a slide when an opposing runner tried to score. He broke two bones in an ankle and spent three months in a full leg cast, hence the less-than-ideal cleaning method.

But then he learned how to protect himself while protecting the plate.

"I've talked to a few of the other catchers, and I think that in general we all want to see [the rule] the way it is. We think that [home-plate collisions are] a part of the game," Lavarnway said. "But I understand where the owners are coming from, they're trying to keep us healthy. I think that their intentions are in the right place, and I think that we can find some middle ground. But if it was up to me, I'd leave it the way it is."

Third-base coach Brian Butterfield is going to wait to see the exact verbiage of the rule before making any judgment.

"[There is] too much unknown for me right now," Butterfield said. "But I'm a baserunning guy, that's going to be very important to me. It's important for me and it's important for my runners' safety. I don't want any of my runners getting hurt."

Butterfield explained that if home-plate collisions are illegal, catchers will feel more comfortable taking a step or two up the line for an imperfect throw, whereas in the past they might be hesitant with a runner barreling in from third.

"I'm not saying I'm all for the runner and not for the catcher. I don't want to see catchers get hurt, but I also don't want to see runners get hurt," Butterfield said. "I want to wait until they come out with definitive rules and interpretations before I say anything."

Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com

Boston Red Sox, Ryan Lavarnway