A lot of opinions are being carelessly thrown around after San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey went down with numerous leg injuries after his collision at the plate. To an extent, it is justified. He’s one of the top young players in the game; the injury could have been avoided; but that being said, I concur with A.J. Pierzynski that no new rules need to be implemented to protect catchers.
First of all, baseball is the most stubborn sport of the four major sports when it comes to rule changes, I shouldn’t even need to qualify this statement. Thus baseball’s stance is that home plate collisions and protecting the plate are both sacred and revered. Don’t like it? Too bad.
It’s extremely unfortunate for Posey but last season, Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana had his leg mangled on a play at the plate. He has a very promising career as well, despite getting noticeably less press on the subject. There was the ensuing mini-controversy, but what came of it? Nothing.
Without a doubt, any catcher worth his salt takes great pride in protecting the plate. That’s his turf. If he can stop you from scoring, he will.
What kind of knee-jerk precedent would the MLB be making by altering rules in the wake of all this overblown melodrama? Yes, Posey was last year’s NL Rookie of the Year and he helped lead his team to a World Series victory. He’s a great player and every fan can agree to that. But let’s face it, outcry for rule changes is hysterical sensationalism.
Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd took a pitch to the face the other day and it was awful to watch, as were Santana’s and Posey’s collisions at the plate. But should baseball players wear football helmets now? Body armor? Get real.
Moving forward, there isn’t anybody in the San Francisco minor league system who can come in to replace Posey. But the Giants still have plenty of young talent like Brandon Belt, Eric Surkamp, Zack Wheeler, Francisco Peguero and another young catcher who is a couple years away in Tommy Joseph. They called up Chris Stewart and Brandon Crawford, two minor league guys who will mostly be used as depth. But hey, who wants to talk baseball right now? It’s more fun to talk about how awful that Posey injury was or how the MLB needs to change the rules, right? How about we roll the video clip another 500 times, maybe zoom in on his face as he writhes in pain? (sarcasm)
San Francisco released a statement saying that Posey will likely require surgery to repair torn ligaments in his ankle and he also has a broken leg. For more information about Posey’s situation, check out this MLB.com article. I’m not going to post any videos of guys getting injured so you can find them elsewhere if you’re looking for them.