Author Topic: Revisiting the Posey Play ~ OR ~ Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone!  (Read 604 times)

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Offline reedjohnson

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The following is a guest post from Ronni Redmond at Garlicfriesandbaseball. Redmond is a member of the Baseball Blogger's Alliance.

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.

You can read the rest of the article here, on Redmond's website.

« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 11:01:01 AM by reedjohnson »

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Offline Colby

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This has been one of your best articles.  Fantasy owners will appreciate Posey not blocking the plate this season, but as you pointed out, it is clear that he wasn't doing that when his leg was shattered by the bulldozing Scott Cousins.  With injuries being a concern, where would you draft Posey in a 12-team standard 6x6 league?  I am thinking about keeping him in such a league that would make him my 5th keeper (giving him the 50th selection).
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Offline Mr.TradeKing

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I didn't think this was a dirty play then or now. First, it was in extra innings and both teams were playing hard for the win. Second, it WAS a "bang, bang" play at home and there is no way possible for Scott Cousins to know that Posey didn't have the ball. In fact, the ball arrives before Cousins, and if Posey catches the ball, Cousins is probably out. Thirdly, Posey WAS trying to apply the tag and was in the basepath. That picture posted with the article is VERY, VERY deceiving. Finally, Cousins was within his right to collide with Posey as that is apart of the game and comes the backstop position. Everytime Posey (or any of other C) suits up, they know that and willingly go out there and play. He had no intentions of injuring Posey (he was just trying to score and win the game), which is evident by his initial reaction after scoring. He actually looked more concerned than Posey's teammate. I believe this video says it all:

I think home plate collisions and pitching throwing at hitters in retaliation are good parts of the game and would hate to see them taken out. We all see how that worked for the NFL....

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Offline WhiteSoxFan4Life

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I think it's clear that the runner had no intention of hurting Posey and was trying to score.  He didn't know Posey didn't have the ball and was reacting to the play.  To call this a dirty play just doesn't sit right with me.  I'm sorry Posey got hurt but I think you do a great disservice to Cousins by implying he was a dirty player.  Both players were playing the game hard and neither deserves to be villified.


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