COMMENTARY | A home plate collision between Buster Posey and Scott Cousins may have ended the season for Posey. In the 12th inning of a game between the San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins Wednesday, a play at the plate happened that will be debated for a while. The result, though, was that the Giants may have lost one of their star players, and the heart of that team, for the rest of the year.
According to ESPN, Posey has a broken bone in his left ankle. X-rays taken after the play revealed the fracture, and now the Giants will have to figure out how to proceed without their best catcher. Posey was a vital part of the Giants team that won the 2010 World Series, and though this is only his second year in the Major Leagues, he has become one of the most likable players on the roster.
With Scott Cousins on third base in the top of the 12th inning Wednesday, Emilio Bonifacio came to plate and hit a short fly ball to the outfield. Nate Schierholtz caught the ball and made a great throw home to try to get Cousins, who had tagged from third base and was trying to score. That was when Posey put himself in the path of the runner, and a huge collision took place at home plate. Cousins was called safe, giving the Marlins a 7-6 lead, but Posey had his leg bent under him in an obviously discomforting position.
It was immediately obvious that Posey had been hurt on the play, and everything went silent as he stayed on the ground writhing in pain. Trainers had to help him off the field, and the fans began chanting his name as he was removed. Now the debate has begun about how the play took place, and if something should be done about home plate collisions.
This is all part of the game, and it isn’t the first time that a catcher has been injured trying to guard home plate from an approaching runner. Posey knew what he was getting into, Cousins wasn’t trying to hurt him, and there shouldn’t be any argument about whether the play was clean or not. Cousins isn’t a “dirty” player; he was just trying to score what would end up being the winning run during an ultra-competitive moment of the game.
The San Francisco Chronicle is claiming that it was not a clean play, as Posey was out in front of the plate instead of beside it, and a rule change is needed. The rules (as the article points out) state that a runner can try to dislodge the ball from the catcher, and that was exactly what Cousins was trying to do. Anything else is a different debate, because what took place Wednesday was just part of the game.