Tag Archives: scott cousins

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…

Advertisements

Baseball’s Top Ten News Items in 2011

2011 World Champions St Louis Cardinals

The media’s full of articles and videos of the most newsworthy items about baseball this past year.   You might think this would be those articles you and I found the most interesting and representative of baseball throughout the country, but not necessarily so.

I compiled a list from a survey today of the “top 10” from USA Today, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

Here’s the results and below that I’ve listed my own personal “Top Ten”.  How does your list compare?

TOP TEN FROM SURVEY

  1. St. Louis Cardinals, World Series Champions
  2. Justin Verlander,  AL Cy Young and MVP Winner
  3. Game 162 collapse of the Red Sox and Braves.
  4. Game 6 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers
  5. Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit
  6. Ryan Braun’s Drug Test
  7. Jim Thome’s 600th Home Run
  8. Shannon Stone Fatal Fall at Rangers Stadium
  9. Mariano Rivera all time saves leader
  10. Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium Continue reading

Scott Cousins? ….. Irrelevant.

#28 Buster Posey

First, let me begin by saying I don’t believe Scott Cousins is irrelevant as a person, as a human being.  Of course he’s relevant.  But the story these past two weeks that has taken baseball hostage is about something else.  It’s about a love story that’s taken hold on every person who ever thought of being a Giants fan and it has everything to do with Buster Posey.  Buster’s the ultimate “guy”.   He’s become our knight in shining armor, our Casey at the Bat, our savior of all things baseball.  I don’t know exactly how this happened, but it happened.   I started collecting Buster Posey memorabilia  when he first came into our farm system after the 2008 draft.   And he lived up to everything we expected of him.  He was our hope for the future and our promise of all good things to come.  He was what it meant to be a San Francisco Giant. 

So on May 29, 2011, during a Florida Marlins – San Francisco Giants ballgame, at the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied, and the game on the line, when Buster Posey endured a career-threatening injury,  the collective gasp of everything “Giant” was heard throughout the baseball world and beyond.  We’re still reeling from the ramifications of that injury.  Some of us deal with it better than others, but of course the one who continues to suffer the most is Buster Posey, both physically and emotionally.  I was surprised when Buster came out with his statement the day after the injury with a not-so-charitable attitude toward Cousins, the agressor in the play.  But when Brian Sabean, General Manager of the SF Giants, hurled his scathing comments  directly to and about Scott Cousins, a line was crossed.  Now, all of a sudden, Scott Cousins has become irrelevant and the play at the plate has become irrelevant. 

Have we learned nothing from these past couple months?   I’m thinking about that awful incident involving one of our own, Bryan Stow, who was brutally beaten after a Dodger-Giants game March 31, 2011, in the stadium parking lot.   The outpouring of love and support for Bryan was incredible and this included a huge contingent of support from the Los Angeles Dodger fans.   Everyone banded together in support of this SF Giants fan who was involved in this terrible crime.  Baseball was at its finest.  

And now, the SF Giants are involved in a truly unfortunate “accident” and not only the fans, but the Giants management, are showing nothing but indignation and outrage that it could possibly happen to them, to one of their own.   Well, I’m sorry, but it did.  It happened.  And we’re all hurting.  We miss Buster.  We miss seeing him every day, in the dugout, behind the plate, at the plate.  But why do we insist on having a villain in this scenario?  Why can’t we get past this and accept it as an unfortunate accident and move forward?  Scott Cousins did not intentionally get up in the morning , arrive at the ball park, and decide this was the day he was going to nail Buster Posey with a career-threatening hit.  Cousins did what he was trained to do.  He’s a competitor and he’s supposed to try his very best to do everything he can to help his team win games.  And that’s what he was doing when this incident occurred.  That’s all he was doing.  There was no malicious intent to destroy anyone. He made a split-second decision just like all the other split-second decisions that are made on the ball field on a daily basis.  The end result was disastrous, but it was not intentional.

Not that it matters, but this morning I read an article by ESPN.Com quoting Johnny Bench  (link to one of my favorite Posey Cards here) that puts Buster Posey at fault.  Johnny Bench is considered an expert in this area, being one of the all-time greatest catchers who’s ever played the game.  He’s also an avid supporter and fan of Posey and has been quoted many times these past few years acknowledging what a fine young person and athlete and catcher he is.   Everyone has an opinion;  100 bloggers, 100 different opinions.  The reason I bring this up is because everyone makes mistakes; I make mistakes and you make mistakes, Scott Cousins makes mistakes and Johnny Bench makes mistakes.  

Will MLB change the rules?  Maybe.  But how this injury to Buster Posey happened is not as important as how we’re going to get past it.  And we will.  But the sooner the better.