San Francisco Giants fans know there’s no such thing as the “Buster Posey rule”
Feb 27, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) poses for a photo during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco Giants fans are pretty sensitive when it comes to plate collisions. Of course we are. In May 2011, we watched our World Series championship winning, rookie of the year catcher take a hit at home plate that required surgery and cost him the remainder of the season. We were livid.
I am not here to debate the merits of that slide, nor am I going to talk about Chase Utley’s slide into Ruben Tejada last Saturday during Game Two of the NLDS. What I am here to talk about is the moniker. The label. What we call the rule that is enacted because of the play in question.
But first‒some housekeeping. I am not adequately familiar with the Mets lineup. For the life of me, I can’t tell you who’s on first or what’s on second. I think I made that abundantly clear when I referred to Ruben Tejada as the second baseman in my last blog post. I apologize. Ruben is the shortstop‒he was covering second base. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I’ll recite “Casey at the Bat” three times and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch of the first world series game as my penance.
Ok, back to the business at hand. The collision at second base during the Dodgers/Mets game Saturday has generated a discussion about the need for a collision rule at second base. Or as some of the writers have said, baseball needs to impose “The Ruben Tejada Rule.”
Remember when Buster Posey was gunned down at the plate by a Miami player? I know, stupid question, like we could ever forget that awful moment. The subsequent home plate collision rule that was enacted was dubbed “The Buster Posey Rule” by the media, making it sound like Buster is the reason for the rule.
In my opinion, the rule should be named after the person who, by their actions, made the rule necessary. Buster was doing his job‒protecting the plate, when he was gunned down by the Scott Cousins express. Ruben Tejada was also doing his job‒covering second, when Chase Utley barreled into him near the base.
Well, Buster is not the reason for the rule‒that dubious distinction belongs to Scott Cousins. Ruben Tejada wasn’t the instigator of the collision at second base on October 10th, we have to credit Chase Utley with that monkey business.
If you want to name these rules, name them after the baseball player who made them necessary in the first place. I suggest the home plate collision rule be named the Scott Cousins rule and a rule dealing with a collision at second base should naturally be called the Chase Utley rule.
I don’t know where Ruben Tejada’s career is headed, but I do know something about Buster’s. He’s a three time World Series champion, hands-down winner of the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award, three time All Star, Silver Slugger Award winner, 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, winner of the 2012 NL batting title, 2012 Hank Aaron Award winner…the list just goes on.
The one thing he’s not‒now, nor has he ever been‒the reason for the MLB to instigate a rule legislating a player’s behavior on the field. Buster doesn’t need to be told how to behave, he already knows.
I’m going to ask a favor‒from now on, please don’t say “Buster Posey rule” when discussing the legality of a collision at the plate, and don’t let anyone else either. Because Buster shouldn’t be associated with the negative outcome that resulted from the collision. You can see by the awards he received in 2012 that he worked very hard to put the whole thing behind him. Naming the plate collision rule‒even informally‒the “Buster Posey rule” does him a disservice. He deserves better.
And if you hear another San Francisco Giants fan use that term, just tell them “Hey! You’re embarrassing Buster Posey in front of me.”