In one of the most famous plays in baseball history, Pete Rose trucked catcher Ray Fosse in the 12th inning to win the 1970 all-star game. The all-star career of Ray Fosse was never the same.
As far as notable collisions at the plate go the Rose-Fosse crash ranks at number one. Notable collisions leading to career threatening injuries? The Rose-Fosse collision is the only one I can recall without taking a peek at Google. There’s a reason for that.
Until May 26th.
Last Thursday, Buster Posey was run over by Scott Cousins, which lead to one of baseballs bright young stars fracturing his leg. Everyone from Buster Posey’s agent to the local butcher is now clamoring for the MLB to make a rule change.
Give me a break.
Hear me out on this one and then make your decision on how insensitive you think I am. I understand that the reigning Rookie of the Year was brutally injured in a play that some of you obviously think is unnecessary.
However, why has this suddenly become such a hot topic? It happened because of an extreme event. In other words, something that doesn’t occur on a regular basis. This cry for a rule change is a classic overreaction to a problem that has been virtually non-existent for a very long time.
This isn’t an epidemic like head shots are in the NFL or NHL. This is a single incident that people are reacting to in a completely illogical fashion. Unlike other more important things, catcher collisions haven’t been a persistent problem over the years.
Remember when 1st base coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being struck in the head with a line drive? That was a tragic incident. Nevertheless, the fact that all base coaches now have to wear helmets because of one freak event is ridiculous. One coach gets struck in the head and its panic everywhere. I don’t mean to be insensitive but it isn’t only professional baseball where base coaches are at risk, it’s also baseball being played around North America and the world. One coach, that’s it.
Buster Posey was never at risk of dying on that play. Catching isn’t for the weary and Posey was involved in a typical baseball play. Catchers are aware of what they sign up for when they play professional ball.
Head first slides have become somewhat of a problem around baseball so why isn’t everyone clamoring for head first slides to be made illegal? Cold hard facts will tell you that more guys get hurt sliding head first than colliding with a catcher. No risk of death, but serious injuries are involved. Just ask Josh Hamilton or Aaron Hill.
Many of you have probably been to the airport and recently been patted down or had your bag checked excessively by your friendly neighborhood TSA agent. It’s kind of amusing when the 80-year-old lady is examined in front of her two little granddaughters because all this nonsense stems from the governments nonsensical reaction to a couple of radical incidents. At least people’s lives are on the line here.
A more apparent issue that the MLB is facing, that most are oblivious to, is baseball’s own version of the head shot. Intentionally beaning a player merely for revenge or because they are crowding the plate much should be scary thought yet to most fans it isn’t.
It will be a scary thought when someone dies. This is a part of baseball culture that should be banished. A 95 mph heat seeking fastball to the head is a much more important issue than collisions with the catcher. Nothing has happened yet but when something does you will see that similar panic reaction from around the country and rightfully so.
The thing is, throwing at someone’s head is far different from colliding with a catcher or a foul ball hitting a base coach. A collision with the catcher doesn’t pose nearly the same risks and a foul ball is entirely unintentional. A pitcher who chooses to aim for a vulnerable part of the body is something that can be controlled. If a line drive can kill a base coach than a fastball can too.
It’s okay though, nothing has happened yet so we shouldn’t worry about it. Right?
Old school NFL fans feel that the new rules are ruining the integrity of the game of football. They don’t care or understand the real danger that is concussions. With all the information we are learning about concussions, having a player knocked out each week because of an unnecessary hit is, well, unnecessary.
Buster Posey may not have been blocking the plate but this is a baseball play that certainly does not carry the same great risk. Excessive preventative measures are not in order here. By changing the rule the MLB would be putting its own version of the “may cause drowsiness” label on the bottle of sleeping pills.
This isn’t little league folks, where I’m sure you would be happy to learn that initiating contact with a catcher is illegal.
What’s almost worse is that this silly reaction is because Buster Posey is a star player. If this was Rod Barajas the issue would be swept under the rug.
The whole logic behind the reaction to Buster Posey’s injury is misguided. An insignificant issue wrongly thrust into the spotlight because of a rare accident involving a star player.
Last year, Kendry Morales suffered a broken leg celebrating a walk-off home-run. Suddenly, rowdy walk-off celebrations became a thing of the past because of another freak incident. Doesn’t make any sense does it?
Major League Baseball does not need to respond in this type of manner to the Buster Posey incident. Contrary to Harold Camping’s belief, the apocalypse is not upon us so let’s not react to this as if it is.
The rule doesn’t need to be changed. This isn’t helmet-to-helmet NFL style. Buster Posey was the victim of a legal baseball play that has to stay legal.
- Chris Ross