The Tools of Ignorance
If you haven’t been following baseball news over the past couple of weeks there’s been something of a brouhaha over runners crashing into catchers who are blocking home plate. What happened is that fantastically-named San Francisco Giant catcher Buster Posey (whose sister Samantha is fantastic in her own right) was setting up to receive the ball at home when Scott Cousins of the Marlins barreled into him. The resulting collision was kind of brutal.
Buster is now done for the year. Okay, these kind of things happen. They don’t call catchers’ equipment the “tools of ignorance” for nothing, and catchers are notoriously injury-prone — not because they aren’t tough, Lord knows they are (as a general rule), but because their job is so stupidly difficult and rough on the body. One of my favorite Yankees, Thurman Munson, had brutal pain in his knees and was often hurt. Maybe that’s why he was so ornery. As Sparky Lyle is reported to have said when asked if Munson was moody:
“No, Thurman’s not moody. Moody people have good days. Thurman’s just mean.”
Buster Posey, on the other hand, not mean. What he is, apparently, is a cry-baby. After getting leveled by Cousins, he refused to return the guy’s call checking on his well-being and here’s what he reportedly said (this is from, heaven help me, Twitter):
Posey said he doesn’t want to villify Cousins, but felt he left him a lane. “He chose to come at me.” Feels MLB should look at those plays.
Waaaaaah. And Giants GM Brian Sabean also got his panties in a twist and came after Cousins in the media:
“If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy. … He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. Believe me, we’ve talked to (former catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it: There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.”
So add to the whining some overt threats of retribution — which were followed by death threats from some Giants “fans”. I’ll leave it to others to discuss Sabean’s hypocrisy, but suffice it to say that catchers block the plate, catchers get run over, catchers sometimes get hurt. Maybe Cousins came in too hard, or a little too far from the plate when he had an opening to avoid the catcher, maybe he didn’t. But the idea that this guy was really trying to destroy the golden boy Rookie of the Year is silly and, frankly, has no support. If catchers want to protect themselves, they should move to a swipe tag and stop blocking the plate, particularly when they don’t even have the ball. If you don’t want professional athletes barreling into you for the express purpose of knocking you on your ass and making you drop the ball, maybe you should find another line of work — or get MLB to change the rules. Marlins player Logan Morrison kind of summed it up:
“First of all, it’s wildly unprofessional for him to make any comment on the situation. When has he played in the big leagues? When has he played in the minor leagues? Correct me if I’m wrong but he’s never been in a situation like that. It’s terrible. Why would you wish anything like that on anybody? … He’s taking this very hard without the comments that [Sabean]’s made. He’s getting death threats from people. This is his hometown, San Francisco. He’s worried about his family and his friends that are there. And now he’s going to make comments like that? It’s ignorant, it’s inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”
And when bad things happen to you you shouldn’t go around crying about it. Man up, Posey. And shut the fuck up, Sabean.