First, details of the injury (from Giants trainer Dave Groeschner):
Buster had three MRIs today — the first one on his ankle. Then he had one on his lower leg and we did one on his knee as well. The knee was fine, the lower leg has a fractured fibula which we knew last night on the X-ray. Then he’s also got some torn ligaments in his ankle…
He’s got a medial ankle sprain, a lateral sprain and a syndesmosis sprain, which is in the front and leading up the tibia.
None of it sounds good, of course. But if you read through the write-up from the Extra Baggs blog, you’ll get at least a glimmer of hope. Right now, that’s something.
In addition, here are some links and some thoughts as We — the Bay Area, Giants fans, and baseball — react to the horrific reality of losing Posey indefinitely…
From Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles (first) and SB Nation’s Baseball Nation (second), Rule Change Please.
Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron shared that sentiment when he wrote It’s Time to End Home Plate Collisions.
Mr. Brisbee also gives us this, a look at what isn’t a reasoned reason to keep the “It’s A-OK to destroy a catcher who isn’t looking” rule: It’s always been that way, it always will be.
Status quo is stupid. If we also marched, stumbled, and drooled to this old drum, black people would have their own league, not able to compete in the “Major” leagues. In this country, we fight for what’s right. We challenge conventions that have been around forever. Woman weren’t able to vote; they now out-vote men. Black people couldn’t play Major League Baseball, and now they’re among the most celebrated and talented players in the games great history. Black people weren’t allowed to vote; a black man is now President. Gays weren’t allowed in the military; gays now fight for our freedom. Gays weren’t allowed to marry; well, we’re still working on that one.
These are extreme, real-life examples of change, where a wrong was turned into a right. In this particular case, we obviously aren’t talking about something as monumentally important as those examples I’ve mentioned, but the point is that this seems like something at least worth exploring, a way to protect this great games stars. (Also its non-stars.)
You can’t destroy a quarter back in football, so why should you be allowed to obliterate a catcher in baseball, a non-contact sport? Because they said you could in 1895 when batters didn’t where helmets? Because they have a chest protector that might stop a pellet gun? Ya, let’s end the discussion there, and stop being a bunch of girly-men. Not.
Along with the replay, let’s get this out in the open. Let’s see if we cannot make an improvement to baseball without compromising the integrity of the game. I don’t see how baseball could possibly be worse if runners are no longer allowed to, at full speed, run through a defenseless catcher.
But Grant’s most important piece in all of this is his fan-boy love letter to Posey: Buster Posey’s Injury: Even Worse Than You Think. It describes, beautifully, the pain felt throughout the Bay Area.
I gave more than my fair share of criticism to Bengie Molina while he was a Giant. He epitomized what the Giants’ staff didn’t understand about scoring runs. He was slow; he did not get on base. The majority of his “value” came from his ability to drive in runs — he was an “RBI man” — and to lead and catch a pitching staff, the latter of which is immeasurable. Anyway, I’ll continue to push stats as hard as I know how, because I truly believe they best describe what happens on a baseball field. That being said, we must remind ourselves that these guys are humans, not cyborgs, though they exhibit machine-like qualities sometimes. Some are as useful as C3PO — Arron Rowand, for example — while others have much greater utility, such as R2D2. But they are not robots. Never was this more clear than when Posey’s ankle and leg bent that way.
You saw it when he was a Giant; Molina had passion and emotion and heart, and it was sometimes frustrating. Other times, better times, it was endearing. If you forgot that after the trade, when you fell in love with Buster Posey, well, read Molina’s interview with Andrew Baggarly. Despite what went on, losing his job to the younger, more talented Buster Posey, Molina has nothing but love for the Giants’ battered and beloved backstop. I have enormous respect for Molina, and how he carries himself.
Finally, I had some harsh things to say about Bruce Bochy last night. I won’t apologize for what I said; it’s how I felt at the time. Like many Giants fans, I was seeing red at the time, looking for someone to blame. As Otis noted, Scott Cousins was an easy target, along with Bruce Bochy. Simply put, Bochy’s less-than-genius bullpen managing in the ninth led to a four-run Marlins lead, rather than a less-than-four-runs Marlins lead. Then, the Giants scored four runs in the ninth to force extras, and the thinking was that they could have been celebrating a walk-off win in the ninth. Would it all have worked out that way, though? Probably not.
What I mean to say is that Bochy isn’t to blame. Cousins isn’t to blame, either. Really, there isn’t anyone that’s truly at fault. But if I had to choose something, I’d choose baseball. It’s a sport that’s so embroiled in its past, that it’s unwilling to take a step into the future. Replays seem an obvious upgrade; they’re hardly being considered. Meanwhile, playoff expansion seems like not only a possibility, but something that has a strong likelihood of being instituted in just a few years, despite some serious concerns that it might be a bad idea. The reasons for doing it seem transparent; it’s a money grab.
The sooner Major League Baseball starts to make changes to improve the game, rather than just make it more profitable, the better off it will be. I’m confident that the latter will come with the former, if they’re just willing to give it a try. Home plate collisions may not be at the top of the list, but they should be on it.