Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants’ franchise catcher, has his picture on page B-5 of the San Francisco Chronicle, the issue celebrating the 2014 World Series victory over the Kansas City Royals. You know, the one that screams “Yes! Yes! Yes!” across the front page of the Sporting Green? Normally, there would be nothing out of the ordinary about Posey having his mug shot in the sports page-that is, unless it’s under the heading of “World Series Stars and Stumbles” with his .154 batting average prominently displayed, along with the intonation: 4 hits, ZERO extra-base hits.
Imagine that, Buster Posey did not carry the team with his bat, the way he did the second half of both 2012 and 2014. He did not hit the grand slam that won the Wild Card showdown with the Pittsburgh Pirates (that was Brandon Crawford), he did not hit the upper deck blast in the bottom of the 18th inning (another Brandon did that, this one Belt), and he did not pitch 21 innings of the World Series (again, Madison Bumgarner, not Buster Posey).
According to the Chronicle (and they would certainly know, wouldn’t they?) Buster Posey “stumbled” in the 2014 World Series. The concept does not compute. Pardonne moi? Posey stumbled? Then, pray tell, who was that behind the plate, catching all of Madison Bumgarner’s 21 innings’ worth of stellar, World Series-saving baseball, plus every other inning in the Series? Allow me to assure you, it wasn’t Steve Perry.
Oct 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) and catcher Buster Posey (28) celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game five of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants’ common denominator for all three World Championships has been Buster Posey.
The Chronicle doesn’t get it. Posey didn’t stumble; how could he? He carries the team on his back. If he “stumbled” the parade would have been held in Kansas City.
He alone has been an integral element of every inning of every game. Buster Posey is the one putting down the fingers, based on the plethora of information provided him by the scouting combine. Posey assimilates this information and feeds it back to his pitchers.
So, one might ask, if Posey is so all-fired good at calling games, what happened in that Game Six, 10-0 shellacking? Buster break a finger? Jake Peavy lasted only one inning plus, but one Peavy characteristic that kept popping up, was the head-shake, as in no, give me another option.
In other words, Buster put the finger down-no, not that one-and Peavy kept shaking him off. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the pitcher shakes off the catcher’s signs, then there’s not a whole lot of impact the catcher can have. Hence, a slew of runs scored, the Giants never got on the board, and the Series went to Game Seven.
So we’re back to Buster catching Bumgarner in Game Seven, after seeing them hook up in Game One and Game Five. Five innings were needed to close out the game, while two singles were being given up, no walks being issued, and four batters grabbing some pine, after striking out. No, Buster did not win Game Seven with his bat, but as he has been doing since 2010, he helped win the game with his fingers.
With his fingers and with his brain. So, no, the Chronicle has it wrong and Buster did not stumble. If he had, there would be no parade in downtown San Francisco, because it would have been held in Kansas City.
The thing is, Giants fans already know this.
October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) waves to the crowd during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports