Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Dark Black Hole Of Despair . . . with some hope sprinkled in

The Giants played a baseball game today and lost 1-0.

That's all I have to say about that.

Lots of talk about Buster Posey. I've been trying to think of something to call that apocalyptic moment, and all I can come up with is The Collision. We've got The Freak, The Streak™, and The Panda, so The Collision works for me. It sure beats When The Season Turned Into A Dark Black Hole Of Despair. That one was a tad melodramatic.

Dave Cameron has an interesting piece on FanGraphs called It's Time to End Home Plate Collisons. Check it out. If you can stomach it, some of the commenters have intelligent counter-arguments. You'll get the usual collection of "it's part of the game, you pussies" but that's to be expected. I have to wonder whether those guys would still like to see beanballs and intentional spiking. Hell, batters used to be able to tell pitchers where they wanted the ball thrown! Home runs used to be freakish and unusual, and no one wore helmets. Baseball has evolved over the decades and will continue to change. Often incidents involving high-profile players precipitate those changes. I'm old enough to remember watching Ray Fosse get clobbered by Pete Rose in the All-Star Game. A lot has changed in 40 years--but not plays at the plate. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Here's something from Bruce Bochy (via Chris Haft):
"It's part of baseball," said Bochy, a former catcher. "I understand that guys run into catchers. I do think we need to consider changing the rules here a little bit because catchers are so vulnerable. ... Here's a guy [Posey] who's very popular in baseball. Fans want to see him play and now he's out for a while. So I'd like to see something considered where we can protect these guys a little bit more. They just don't have that protection to take a guy coming in full speed with that kind of force."
The good news is that despite the severity of the injury it is not impossible that Buster could return to action in a few months. Extra Baggs has an interview with Dave Groeschner, Giants head trainer. (They call them "physios" in the British sporting press!) AmyG tweeted that Ol' Boch thinks Buster will be back this season.



Anonymous said...

Update: I have Matty sketched. It's almost finished. I decided to go with a still from a video I saw of him pitching. I think the pose looks more badass compared to the last one. Also, this time I want to colour it in since I have a tablet now. I'll also put "Raising Matt Cain" somewhere on it but this time, I'll use a professional font instead of just winging it. Any suggestions for a font?

M.C. O'Connor said...


Check out Blambot for very cool fonts. See link at bottom of page.

Can't wait to see it, Francisco!

Ron said...

I am despondent over the Posey injury. Since last September, he has clearly been my favorite player - the Johnnie Bench-type force who comes along once-in-a-franchise lifetime. This is a career changing injury. His bone will heal. The ligament damage is much more frightening.

This may make it difficult for him to continue his career as a Catcher. He will now certainly be a Catcher with much more limited mobility & endurance. The obvious alternative position is theoretically occupied for quite a few years by one of our best prospects. This could alter the course of the franchise.

In the short term, bear with me on this one, this probably means we are more likely to make a Jose Reyes trade, unless we find a legitimate veteran hitting Catcher (Posada?) to trade for at the deadline. Can we really go down the stretch with Tejada/Burress & Whiteside in the line-up every day?

We need you back soon, Buster. But, don't rush it. We need you back for the long haul.

Brother Bob said...

First you must outlaw catchers blocking the plate. Posey wasn't, not quite, but his left leg was sticking out there and that's why it got injured. Runners make the decision to collide based on the assumption the catcher will likely be planted directly on the baseline. No blocking, no collisions.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Collisions ought to be incidental, not intentional. KO'ing the catcher to knock the ball loose may be "part of the game" but seems increasingly pointless as time goes on. Posey is only the most well-known of many, many catchers who've been injured on similar plays. Stationary catchers get hammered by guys going full speed--it's not really a fair encounter or a test of baseball skill. Take-out slides at 2nd are regulated by the umpire's judgment: was it incidental or intentional? Something similar could work at home plate. Fielders have the right to field the ball without interference and runners have the right to the bag without obstruction. Baseball is not a contact sport--these things happen, but they ought not to happen by design. You can't throw pitches at guys on purpose, for example. Lots of guys get hit, but usually unintentionally.

I don't really expect baseball to change anything. Baseball is pretty conservative about those "manly" encounters. Look how long it took to get rid of beanballs or make players wear helmets. Many will argue that collisions at the plate are exciting. Sure, but PLAYS at the plate are exciting. Fadeaway and hook slides are exciting. Throws from the OF are exciting. It isn't necessary to hurt guys to get excitement. Just the buildup to and timing of plays at the plate are exciting.

Buster says he thinks his season is over (q.v. Extra Baggs). This is an interesting time for Sabes & Co. Will they try to beef up the offense by dangling MadBum or Zack Wheeler? Please, please, no Bengie Molina. And Jorge Posada doesn't have much catching left in him--he DHs a lot these days. I'd rather have defense back there and try to get some offense somewhere else. What to do with Aubrey Huff? He has to start hitting. And Tejada is looking more like Edgar Renteria every day. I guess that means he'll be WS MVP!