Let’s Change Baseball Because One Guy Got Hurt

I really don’t know why this is a debate right now. I thought it was just homerism as I listened to Giants play-by-play man Duane Kuiper whine about Buster Posey’s collision last night. Add to that, Posey’s agent sent a memo to MLB pleading to ban home plate collisions. But when I saw Buster Olney pleading his case for the change, I knew it wasn’t just local sentiment. Unless he’s just trying to protect a fellow Buster, I don’t know why he’s on this bandwagon. It’s classic American knee-jerk reaction to something that happened once out of a thousand times. What’s next, banning talking on cell phones while driving? Oh, wait a minute… Anyway, the last home plate collision I can remember that left a catcher significantly injured was Ray Fosse in 1970-i don’t even know because I wasn’t alive. It’s NOT that serious. What IS serious is Posey’s injury. Now, I’m no Giants fan, but I root for them about 150 games per year. I spent the greater part of a decade living in San Francisco, so I definitely want them to be good, but I never really forgave them for blowing the 2002 World Series. I certainly will never forgive them for winning the 2010 one. Now that they’re up to three-less championships than the A’s, I don’t want them to get any closer. On the other hand, Buster Posey is the catcher on my fantasy team, and more importantly, probably was going to be a major piece of my team’s future. Now I have to decide if he’s worth a roster spot just for the sake of keeper consideration. (I might have to let go of Strasburg, ha.)

What makes my perspective unique though is I never saw the collision before I heard all the hullabaloo. I first learned of it this morning reading the game recap on my phone while doing something that starts with an S, and isn’t showering or shaving. Like the baserunner, Scott Cousins said, it was the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. He had to do whatever he could to score. However, before saying my piece, I decided I had better watch this play finally. I was surprised to discover that it seems running into Posey WASN’T, after all, necessary. That collision had all the makings of your typical small guy complex. Cousins isn’t that small per se, but it looked like a kid who’s been bullied his whole life that was about to get back at everyone who ever picked on him by mowing down a defenseless super star. Apparently Cousins played at the University of San Francisco while I was there, and claims to be a Giants fan. Well, I never heard of Scott Cousins until yesterday, so that’s saying a lot. USF is a small school – everybody knows everybody. So to not know a guy who would go on to play major league baseball is saying something. I guess the only way he could get the City’s attention is by blindsiding the Giants star catcher. Well congratulations, kid. You got SF’s attention now. Just don’t plan on ever coming back.

About mceezy

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10 responses to “Let’s Change Baseball Because One Guy Got Hurt

  • By

    I myself, a Giants fan, do not wish for a rule change.

    Get better soon Posey, we’ll miss you while you’re recovering.

  • chappy81

    I’m surprised everyone is calling for a rule change. I didn’t feel like it was a super dirty play. Did he need to truck Posey? Not really, but that’s always been part of the game. I think Carlos Santanna in Cleveland had it happen to him last year, and nobody seemed to care, so why does everyone now? Because it’s the defending world champs that were the victim not some Cleveland team that was 15 games out of first when Santanna got hurt…

    • Chris Ross

      Definitely. It’s always been a part of the game and even though it wasn’t really necessary I don’t think a rule change is necessary at all. I don’t remember the Carlos Santana thing at all but you are right on the money with that one.

    • Mceezy

      Yesterday it was Kuiper and this morning Krukow was on the radio calling for a rule change. I guess Kurt Suzuki and other catchers have said Posey was positioned poorly too.

    • By

      I think the MLB is just trying to protect their investments. And managers and such are doing the same. If Posey was Bengie Molina, it would not cause quite the stir, but the truth of the matter is Posey is a bright young star who has some national attention. No one wants to see him hurt, especially here in SF, but not subject to only Giants fans.

      If ‘clotheslining’ a SS was a legal play and part of baseball tradition, and someone demolished Derek Jeter in his prime, you best believe the cry outs for a rule change would ensue. It’s just the nature things. So I’m not quite as surprised as you guys are on this.

      But I do agree with Matt, Scott Cousins did not have to barrel into Posey, just b/c you’re allowed to, doesn’t mean you have to. It was a bit of ‘bush league’ in my opinion.

      • chappy81

        I don’t feel like that’s a fair comparison “clothelining a shortstop”, because every year there’s bitching about the take out slides and whether a given one is “dirty”. Also if you trucked someone at another base and went passed the base or fell off it and got tagged you’d be out even if you were safe originally.

        I think what’s been lost in all of this is that Cousins was doing his job maybe to a fault. Is he supposed to look up and see where the ball is right before he trucks Posey? His job as a runner is to score. If Posey’s blocking the plate, and Cousins thought the throw was going to beat him home, he did what he could to knock the ball free which maybe meant lowering his head a bit… I wouldn’t care if it was Posey or Bengi blocking the plate if I was playing all I’d care about is scoring the run, and I’d knock whoever was there over head lowered or not.

        • By

          I understand he’s just doing his job, but if his job is to play within the restrictions of the ‘rules’ than Warren Sapp just did his job when he laid out Chad Clifton. Bruce Bowen’s just doing his job when he’s placing his foot under jump shooters. Neither of those deemed ‘illegal’.

          What I’m saying is there’s a line you cross, and Cousins crossed it. I mean Cousins lunges to his left to ensure contact to Posey. That means Posey was on his radar from the get.

          I’m sorry, the more and more I see the replay, the more I see how unnecessary the hit was.

        • chappy81

          I guess I’m just thinking more as if I was Cousins. In those types of split second decisions I can’t say I wouldn’t have lowered my head without realizing it looked like I had bad intentions, so I give him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t malicious… Plus immediately after the play he looked like he felt bad…

    • classic17

      I agree with you here.

      I don’t remember many collisions at home plate but two came to mind when I thought about it. The first was Darin Erstad on Johnny Estrada in 2005 or so. In my mind, that was a very dirty play and should’ve been looked at, Estrada was in no position to take a hit and it was just unnecessary. Conveniently, I can’t find video, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Estrada was never the same player after that concussion and retired a few years later in his early 30s. There wasn’t a big fuss aside from Braves fans who called the hit dirty. Clearly, Johnny Estrada is not Buster Posey.

      The second was Pudge ending the 2003 Division Series for the Marlins against whoever they were playing (maybe the Giants? I’m sure someone here will let me know if it was) and that was awesome. I don’t want that part to be taken out.

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