Just recently there has been a clash between Giants general manager Brian Sabean and the Marlins organization. Sabean made some very harsh remarks about Scott Cousins' home-plate collision with Buster Posey.
Sabean said the following on live radio: "I don't blame [Posey]. Why not be hard-nosed? If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."
Sabean has a right to be upset, but not at Cousins. It's horrible that Posey is out for the remainder of the season, but it's also horrible that people are vilifying and even threatening Cousins for what we know and saw was a clean play according to MLB rules.
To be clear, the play had no foul intentions. It was a hard play from start to finish, and even though replays suggest a nifty slide could have scored the run, Cousins made a decision and stuck with it till the end. Unfortunately, his decision seriously injured Posey and could put the Giants' season in jeopardy.
Another thing that is truly upsetting about the controversy is the way that other teams are reacting to this injury. For example, Athletics general manager Billy Bean began to publicly suggest that catcher Kurt Suzuki should no longer block the plate just to be safe. This reaction is basically asking players to no longer put effort into stopping runs, which is simply not right.
Look at it this way: If catchers would stop blocking the plate, then history would be a lot different. Take a look at the 2003 Florida Marlins for instance. Pudge Rodriguez had one of the most important plays for the Marlins that year, which stopped a Giants comeback during the playoffs. He did this by blocking the plate. If Pudge hadn't blocked the plate, then the Marlins may not have gone to the World Series.
Putting that aside for the moment, we have to understand what this injury truly means to baseball. If plays like this continuously happen, then regardless of experts' belief, change will need to take place. Even though collisions are exciting and make a slow sport like baseball worthwhile to watch, if the end result is this negativity, then something needs to change.
If plate collisions are going to be reviewed, there has to be some assurance that contact isn't removed from the game. The thing that needs to be revised is the moments in which collisions can take place. A collision should only take place when the catcher has clear possession of the ball and is blocking a majority of the plate. In any other circumstances, a slide needs to be maneuvered.
Though rules may change, it is important to point out that no matter what sport you're playing or watching, there is always room for injury. Fans need to realize that an injury like Posey's is something that can happen, and it is nobody's fault.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!