Last year, one of my favourite players to watch was Buster Posey. All I can say is I’ve taken full advantage of my MLB.tv subscription and enjoyed watching his dominance in the woeful National League West.
Last night, Buster Posey was absolutely drilled at home by Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins.
Now, I don’t want to get up on a soapbox and preach too much. Admittedly, I’m a fan of violence in sports. I love hitting in hockey, quarterback sacks and catcher collisions. But just like the new War on Head Hitting in the NHL and NFL, last night’s events now gives the MLB and MLBPA a chance to step up and set an example.
With both the NHL and NFL’s new policies, they put an emphasis on making a play for the puck or ball FIRST. Scott Cousins makes no initial effort at the plate last night, and in fact could have scored on the play without the impact. There wasn’t a Marlin player behind the plate signaling this to Cousins, so it’s hard to claim that he was trying to injure Posey, nor do I intend to take that stance. But I see this as a great chance for the MLB to make a statement that base-runners must make an effort at the base they wish to occupy (in this case, home), before initiating intended contact.
This is the second instance this season where a player has gone out of his way to try to initiate contact to break up a play and resulted in major injury. Twins infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka had his leg broken by Nick Swisher while turning a double play last month. While Swisher wasn’t called out by Twins management or the league, it was noted in just about each report of the play that Swisher went well out of the baseline to make contact.
This is a dangerous precedent for the MLB to be setting. I don’t think we’re even close to the recklessness that lead to the new rules in hockey and football, but I ask, how many more plays like this will it take for baseball to make some changes? Posey had NO CHANCE to defend himself, and the contact happened when he wasn’t even looking at the runner. Shouldn’t the runner assume some responsibility here?
Preaching over! I wish Buster Posey a speedy recovery and I hope that the San Francisco Giants can tread water in the NL West while he is on the mend.
Tip of the Cap to Dustin Parkes for the photo.