Thursday, May 26, 2011
Q & A: Life Without Buster
No matter which team your allegiance lies with or for whom you play, watching Buster Posey's ankle contort and snap as he was barreled over backwards at the plate on Wednesday night's game, against the Florida Marlins, was gut-wrenching. Immediately after the play, Posey could be seen clawing the dirt while writhing and snaking with severe pain. Fans, players, broadcasters, and writers alike all had the collective wind knocked out of them, something akin to holding your breath for 2 minutes underwater, then coming up for air and being punch in the gut. Wind taken out of our sails? More like wind taken out of the atmosphere. This is a huge blow, so let's look at the lingering questions and options.
Q: Who's to blame for this?
A: You can blame whoever you'd like if it makes you feel better: Scott Cousins for dropping his shoulder and barreling into Posey. That would be the most obvious. Maybe the Marlin's third base coach for sending him home on a bloop to Nate Schierholtz in mid-shallow right field. What about Posey for being too close to the plate? Aubrey Huff for sending the game into extra innings?! Perhaps it's getting a little extreme, but unfortunately, no matter who you blame, it's not going to erase what happened, and it won't change what happens in the future games unless Major League Baseball makes a policy change. If anyone is responsible, it's MLB for allowing take-out tackles at home plate. It's always been a part of the game, and I think the majority of fans would agree that it's an exciting part of the game. Nothing about the play was ruled illegal, nor would any Giant player have done anything differently if they were in the same position as Scott Cousins. But in hindsight of this devastating injury, it's perhaps not the greatest business decision to expose athletes, who may or may not be faces of franchises, to injuries like this. I think MLB owes it to fans and players alike to at least take a look at policy surrounding home plate plays.
Q: Why do I still feel sick about this the day after?
A: Put simply, Buster is the face of the franchise. As much as we all know and love Tim Lincecum, I think it took an injury like this to realize how big a place in our hearts we hold for Buster Posey. We want him to succeed and rise as high as a star can, because he is a beacon for everything good that has happened in the last year. He is the torch bearer, the mark of change, and a sign of the future. He's putting down the signs for one of the best pitching staffs in the league, has a cannon of an arm, and has a beautiful stroke with the bat. All his skills as a position player and as a leader make him invaluable to the SF Giants.
Q: What's the plan now?
A: Every win without Posey will feel deserved, and every loss will spark anger and angst. We'll see Eli Whiteside a lot more at the catcher spot, and even if the Giants make a move to get an everyday catcher over here, Buster Posey is not someone you can just replace. But at this point, it would be beneficial to cease the worry, stress, and haplessness. It happened, it's over, and now he can begin to recover (pending any surgeries). Attention should move to the roster we have out there everyday and we can only hope we see the heroes of 2010 step up into form that has yet to be reached, while at the same time wishing Buster Posey a speedy recovery.