A 4x All-Star, 3x World Series Champion, National League MVP and Rookie of the year, Gold Glove Award winner, 3x Silver Slugger Winner, Hank Aaron Award Winner, National League Comeback Player of the Year, Batting Champion and World Baseball Classic Gold Medalist. These are all of the accomplishments of Buster Posey in his Major League career alone.
Because of this, many have called out Posey for his lack of leadership. But did Posey really do the wrong thing? Let’s think about previous fights that have happened in the MLB. A majority of them start the same way. The batter gets hit, and runs out to the pitcher, drops his bat and fully swings his fists instead. The catcher usually runs out to try and stop the batter before benches clear and an all out brawl breaks out on the mound. Being one of the first ones in the pile, the catcher usually ends up on the ground and sometimes get taken down pretty hard. Search up any baseball brawl. The catch ends up on the ground, most of the time in an awkward position.
If there is anyone in the Major Leagues who has suffered pretty awkward yet serious injuries, it’s been Buster Posey. In 2011, Posey suffered a broken leg in a collision at home that was so bad, the MLB actually changed the rule of runners colliding at home with the catchers. Known as the “Posey Rule” implemented in 2012, “runners may not run out of a direct line to initiate contact with the catcher or any player covering the plate” Rule 7.08 (b). Posey has also suffered multiple concussions due to hits to the head while batting and catching. He has been one of the few players who has had major success even with a relatively injury riddled career.
Put yourself in Posey’s shoes for a minute. The team is 22-31 and 11 games out of first. Your star pitcher went on the disabled list after a dirt biking accident and your other star pitcher has been sub-par to put it nicely. I team once thought of as a powerhouse in the N.L. West has been falling deeper into the basement by the game. Posey is the only healthy star on that team. Only two weeks after coming off the disabled list, why would he put himself at risk because of a butt-hurt reliever that wanted revenge from three years ago. If Posey goes down again, who knows how bad this team could get. This might have been the most veteran thing Posey could have done. Instead of finding himself suspended or on the DL, Posey gets to play tomorrow while Strickland and Harper will be sidelined.
After the game, Posey spoke the reporters and justified his actions. Saying it will “be a little dangerous to get in their sometimes” speaking on the brawl. He used Mike Morse as an example of a big man, 6’ 5” to be exact getting knocked around “like a pinball”. Sure, off the bat it seems a little bit of a coward comment that he was scared of the fight. However, he did have a point. Guys who had nothing to do with the fight were coming in and getting knocked around. Check out some of the guys running out after Harper in the fight. Watch Mike Morse and Jeff Samardzija collide.
Photo: (USA Today)