Tag Archives: BUSTER POSEY

Blame it on the Catcher!

Baseball nation is going nuts today over the brawl at the Giants and Nats game.  Actually the disagreement was between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland after Harper was hit by a pitch thrown by Strickland.  To be perfectly honest here, Bryce Harper has never been one of my favorite ball players.  In fact,  I don’t like much about the guy.  He’s an arrogant hot head that gives baseball a bad name.  Has anyone ever seen the guy crack even the smallest bit of a smile?  Didn’t think so.  But in fairness it sure looked like Strickland threw that pitch with intent to nail him, which I’m pretty sure he did.

But my words here are about the tweets, blogs and overall bad press Buster Posey is getting from his actions behind the plate.  I mean, he didn’t make any effort to step out from behind the plate to help his poor defenseless pitcher who found himself in a real bind as Harper went charging at him like a bull in a china closet.  The ESPN announcers kept bellowing about the fact that the Giants Catcher, Posey, did nothing to help his pitcher out ~ they’d just never seen anything like it, a catcher who didn’t jump in and join the fiasco.

Some thoughts about this, besides the fact Posey’s a leader so probably doesn’t feel a need to jump in the middle of the dogpile:

  1. Anyone who knows anything about baseball will remember the tragic injury Posey suffered a few years back that almost ended his playing career.  He was in rehab for a year trying to scratch and crawl his way back to the game to overcome the injuries he sustained from that incident.  I’m sure he’s been warned not to do anything stupid that might cause a relapse.  Just saying …….
  2. Looking at the play after the fact, it sure looks like Buster was calling for a fastball right down the middle of the plate.  And if a professional pitcher can’t throw one he’s in the wrong business, unless, of course, he was trying to throw the exact pitch he threw.  A little inside you say?  No kidding.
  3. Knowing the history of these two, Harper and Strickland, it’s possible there was a talk in the Giants locker room before the game that no retaliation pitches were to be thrown.  If that’s the case, Buster could easily been thinking, you want it?  You got it.
  4. This retaliation thing is rampant in the Majors.  Don’t believe me?  Just listen to Mike Krukow explain it during some of his color commentating.  It’s a thing to be proud of, according to Mike.  And no respectable pitcher would let an infraction go by without retaliating.

I mean, come on. Harper gets two home runs off Strickland two years ago and this is “pay back”?  Give me a break. Not wise since they’ll probably both get fined and worse, suspended, causing problems not just for themselves, but for the rest of the team.

And tomorrow it’s likely the players will be warned ~ no inside pitches, and/or no hit by a pitch from either side or the pitcher gets ejected.  What pitcher needs to play with that kind of pressure on him?  So even if he accidentally hits a batter, the pitcher gets ejected and the batter takes the base.

Get your smarts in order pitchers.   This is old school stupid stuff and has no place in today’s game.  In my humble opinion, of course.

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Nothing New about the “New Slide Rule”.

The basic premise of this rule has always been in effect.  They just didn’t use it.  It was always up to the umpires, but rather than getting out of their comfort zone, they chose to ignore it.  Really, just the name “Takeout Slides” defines the action.   It doesn’t always have to do with Chinese food or pizza.   Takeout in this context meaning;  “To cause to die; kill or destroy”.

umpire im thinking cartoon image

“I’m Thinking, I’m Thinking”

I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire is supposed to have total charge of the game.  In the Buster Posey-Darrell Cousins home plate slide, the umpire, who was standing directly over the play at the time it happened, even had the gall to rule the runner safe (which he was not).  Replay photos showed that Cousins plowed out of the baseline directly at Posey, who was standing out of the baseline and not on home plate, attempting to dislodge the ball from Posey, who never had the ball in the first place.  Posey was injured and out for the rest of the season, and this game was in April so it was a big deal!

This happened a lot.  Sure would be nice if some of these umpires would have stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and said something like “No More! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

And now they’re calling it the Chase Utley Rule.  Yah – let’s keep Utley’s name alive and well for the glorious honor of breaking a guy’s leg with an illegal play. How about naming it the  “Ruben Tejada Rule, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, Ray Fosse  or the Willie Randolph Rule for the injured player instead of naming it for the guy who intentionally and maliciously attacked and injured a fellow ballplayer who was just trying to do his job?

The rule’s always been there.  The only thing that’s changed is the  instant replay part and a penalty that the runner and hitter are both out.  Here’s an idea!  Let’s leave the penalty in and add another …. like, automatically throwing the perpetrator out of the game.  Twice, and he’s out for the rest of the season.

scales of justiceBack in 2006, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California  assume the risk of being hit by baseballs, even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.  The powers-that-be over at Major League Baseball must not have heard about this one, or we’d have to wait for another broken leg or two to get some action.

While writing this, I borrowed some excerpts from my post back  in February, 2014, “Revisiting the Posey Play – OR – Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone.”   

 

 

MATT DUFFY POSTS A GOOD ONE!

duffybymangin011

Wow!  Matt Duffy can write.  I found this in my email box this morning and couldn’t wait to share it.  Please take time to read it.  We don’t often get to view the experience from the player’s point of view.  This one not only gives insight into our Duff Man, obvious choice for 2015 “Rookie of the Year”, but also into the Giants organization.

Take a look! “THE NEW KID”, Courtesy of “Player’s Tribune”.

PAHLAJOHNNY ON BASEBALL

To tell you the truth, I’m not really into hip-hop, heavy metal, alternative or other stuff such as “rap” but this video sort of fell into my lap last week and it  got my attention.

This one’s about Pete Rose and it’s definitely “rap”.  It’s written, performed and produced by PahlaJohnny and it has me mesmerized.   He generously contributed this work to our “Sounds of Baseball” website and it’s been getting some attention so I wanted to share it with you.

Be sure and check out his website, PahlaJohnny.com.  And it’s not just baseball he’s into ~”Hoops India” section is a good one.  Over his career, he has designed live video streaming products for companies like Red Bull and ESPN, worked with Kenzo Digital on the NYC screening of City of Godson, launched Hoops India in Delhi and Mumbai.

I have to rethink this rap stuff.  Wonder if he has anything on MadBum & Posey?

MLB SALARIES ~ DID THEY GET WHAT THEY PAID FOR?

scales of justice 2Here’s a list of the 2014 salaries for the Major League Baseball teams.  You can get a look at the individual player salaries from USA Today’s website.  Individual rankings are interesting because you have to look past 65 players to get to the Royal’s top paid player, James Shields at #66.  To find the highest paid “active” player on the Giants roster you’ll go to #29 for Tim Lineceum and further down to #89 for Buster Posey.   But the real surprise was Madison Bumgarner who’s way down the list at #271.  I’ll bet that’s going to change in the near future huh?   Of course, you have to look at the total number of years in the individual contracts to see what the actual value is.

So the question is “Did they get what they paid for?”  I’d say the Kansas City Royals management is feeling pretty good about themselves right now, ranking #18 out of 30 for highest salaries and still  producing the top American League team in the nation.

RANK TEAM CURRENT DIFF AVG SALARY
1 Dodgers $241,128,402 $ – $7,778,335
2 Yankees $208,830,659 $ – $8,031,948
3 Phillies $179,521,056 $ – $5,791,001
4 Tigers $163,078,526 $ – $5,824,233
5 Red Sox $154,380,395 $ – $5,717,792
6 Giants $148,239,158 $ – $5,490,339
7 Nationals $134,366,735 $ – $4,798,811
8 Rangers $132,491,596 $ – $4,140,362
9 Blue Jays $129,427,700 $ – $4,793,618
10 Angels $128,046,500 $ – $4,415,396
11 Reds $112,378,771 $ – $3,405,417
12 Diamondbacks $111,798,833 $ – $3,726,627
13 Cardinals $108,020,360 $ – $3,857,870
14 Orioles $105,084,121 $ – $3,389,810
15 Brewers $102,724,338 $ – $3,804,605
16 Rockies $99,579,071 $ – $3,688,113
17 Braves $97,855,673 $ – $3,156,634
18 Royals $90,481,500 $ – $3,351,166
19 Padres $89,881,695 $ – $2,899,409
20 White Sox $89,551,982 $ – $3,316,740
21 Mariners $89,539,642 $ – $3,087,573
22 Twins $84,912,500 $ – $3,396,500
23 Mets $84,281,011 $ – $3,121,518
24 Indians $82,500,800 $ – $3,055,585
25 Rays $82,035,490 $ – $2,828,810
26 Pirates $77,845,999 $ – $2,883,185
27 Athletics $77,220,900 $ – $2,490,996
28 Cubs $74,546,356 $ – $2,662,369
29 Astros $44,985,800 $ – $1,606,635
30 Marlins $41,836,900 $ – $1,549,514

Revisiting the Posey Play ~ OR ~ Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone!

Here it is again for the 1,000th time. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

This is my response to the TAKEOUT SLIDES ruling that has been approved by Major League Baseball and is a repost of a blog I wrote on February 23, 2012.

The basic premise of this ruling has always been in effect ~ they just weren’t using it. I’m disappointed MLB didn’t take it further and impose more severe personal penalties on the player such as automatic ejection from the game. The NFL and NBA have this built into some of their penalties and it certainly hasn’t hurt the game.

_______________________________________________________

The only reason I’m bringing this up again is because Calcaterra over at Hardball Talk said Posey was told to “stop” blocking the plate.   This implies that Posey “was” blocking the plate, which he was not as the photo above clearly shows.  The runner intentionally left the baseline with a spectacular charge  aimed directly towards the catcher with no intention of getting to the home plate.  The runner, Scott Cousins,  said later his intention was to dislodge the ball~ which he could not, because Buster never had it.

But here’s what’s really amazing about this photo.   Notice the umpire.  No one  had a better birds-eye view than this umpire, standing steadfast and staring intently at the play as it was happening and boom!  Crash!  Bam! Slam!   The play’s over and the umpire calls the runner safe, run counts,  and the catcher is lying mortally wounded* (defined below) on the field.  What the heck was he thinking?  The umpire I mean.

Somehow it seems reasonable that MLB Rule 7.08 (b) could be construed to somehow apply in this situation.  A good attorney could probably make it work.  I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire has total charge of the game.   And in this case I  think he let this one get by.  Too bad.  Would have been a real feather in his cap if he’d stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) took a stand and said something like “No more! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch”.   Like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

Who knows?  An umpire taking a stand.  Might have changed the game forever.  He has the authority to do that you know. Baseball needs a little cleaning up.   It’s not just bulldozing the catcher at the plate that can get really nasty, but what about all those pitches thrown at the batter’s head, back, arm, foot, leg in retaliation for some stupid reason (there are hundreds of them) that everyone knows about, including the umpires.  They all know what’s going on.  It’s extremely rare that a pitcher gets thrown out of a game for hitting or trying to hit a batter, even though it happens regularly.  And if a pitcher does happen to be ejected for intentionally hitting a batter the minimum fine is a whopping $200! (MLB Rule 8.02)  Can you believe it?  Who makes these rules.  I mean a batter could get killed, and has, from one of those bean balls.

“The Scales of Justice”

Here in the land of fruits and nuts according to Wikipedia, “on April 6, 2006, in a case arising from a game involving community college baseball teams, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California assume the risk of being hit by baseballs even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.” So I guess the message is  if you’ve got the moxie to do it, do it in California.

You might notice I’ve not once tried to blame any of  this on Scott Cousins (see my June 4, 2011 post).  Scott was doing what he was trained to do which is to do everything he can to win. And he did.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking”

No, this is something that falls on the  Major League Umpires Association.  They’re the only ones who can get this violent aspect of the game  under control and they don’t need any rule changes to do it.   If they’d start bouncing players out of the game when they resort to these retaliatory pitches and the unnecessary violence at the plate and elsewhere, the players would get the message and it would stop.  The question is, will they?  The answer is,  probably not.  They’d have to move  a tad out of their comfort zone and who the heck wants to do that?

* Mortally Wounded Defined:   A mortal wound is a very severe and serious injury (almost always a form of penetration or laceration) whether accidental or inflicted intentionally…

Woo Hoo! Hunter Pence Gets his Multi-Year Contract!

This is huge!   Breaking news for sure, and it follows the day his teammates voted him winner of this year’s Willie Mac Award.

Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants: Five Year, $90 Million Extension on his Contract, that’s what they’re saying.

Oops!  He's all ours now!

Oops! He’s all ours now!

I remember vividly last year when Hunter Pence signed with the Giants and flew into SFO to play in that night’s game.  However, the flight was delayed and Pence arrived about 30 minutes after the game ended.  But thanks to our loyal Comcast the cameras were on him as he arrived through the gate enroute to the clubhouse, duffel bag thrown over his shoulders, with our loyal “gonna be” fans waving and asking for autographs.

They obviously knew more about Hunter  than I did.  I mean, who was this guy?  I liked his persona  immediately as he dropped everything to sign autographs, shake hands, and basically just endear himself to the fans.   And this was late, like 11:30 PM, most of the park lights had been shut down, and you know he must have been tired.  I mean it was 2:30 AM Philly time.

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

So that’s my first exposure to Hunter Pence and it’s been all uphill since as we remember  his rousing speech to the troops to keep going last year.  This was the speech that got them to and through the playoffs for a chance to win the World Series, and win the World Series they did.

And 2013 has been another great year.  Well, not such a great year according to the standings, but who cares about that?   Our team has character, charisma, compatability, and the loyalty of 41,000 fans on any given day.

baseball heart imageSo welcome to five more years in San Francisco Hunter Pence!  We, the best fans in Major League Baseball “softly” love you (sorry Buster)  and open our hearts to you as you’ve opened yours to us.