San Francisco Giants Catcher Buster Posey Out for Season: The Catcher Equation in Professional Baseball

With San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey out for the season due to a broken ankle and strained ligaments in his knee, the question on whether and how to protect the catcher has been a much talked-about issue in the MLB.  On one side, there’s the upholding of tradition in baseball itself, and the fact that the catcher has the most protective equipment of all the players.  On the other side, the catcher may be one of the most important players in the game, next to the pitchers, and they should be held as valuable linchpins to be protected.  Last Wednesday night, at AT & T Park, Florida Marlins Scott Cousins collided with San Francisco Giants Buster Posey while he was attempting to score a run in the fifth inning.

Out of three veteran catchers in baseball, Buck Martinez, Brad Ausmus and Bob Boone all agree in consensus that the current rules should not be rewritten.  I have to agree with them as well.  Although baseball is a physical game, it is rarely a physical game, or at least not as physical as football. Most of these baseball players have a longer career span than most football or even basketball players, for example.  These type of collisions typically become noticeable generally only when a baserunner attempts to score, and depending on the physicality or speed of the baserunner, it can become quite dangerous. Cleveland Indians Carlos Santana’s season was ended by a similar collision.  Changing the rules concerning the catchers would be similar to preventing tackling of running backs or wide receivers in football if they are five yards away from the end zone. It is a bit of a flawed analogy, but it gets the point across. This alteration in the rules would change the game itself, and the impact of scoring in the game of baseball would be diminished to nothing.

Unfortunately, for the San Francisco Giants, they lost a significant cog in their offense and an integral part of their defense in Buster Posey.  Alongside this debate, the Giants are debating whether Buster Posey will return to his catcher position upon his lengthy recovery from his injury.  In the meantime, Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart will appear to be both handling catcher duties, with Whiteside acting as the primary catcher.  On the bright side, they are still in competition for first place in the AL West with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It is too early for the San Franscisco Giants to give up hope and too rash for a change  of rules.

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