Urban: No need to govern collisions at plate

May 26, 2011, 10:07 pm
Share This Post

May 26, 2011
SLIDESHOW: Scott Cousins vs. Buster PoseyMychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com

One of the great benefits of working for a television network is that when a single play merits serious discussion, as does Scott Cousins' devastating collision with Buster Posey on Wednesday night, you can ask someone to cue up the video and spend 10 minutes -- or 20 minutes, an hour, an eternity -- breaking down the play, frame by frame, backward and forward.So, of course, that was priority No. 1 upon arrival at the CSN Bay Area offices early this afternoon. The same exercise played out late last night at home thanks to the genius of DVR, but DVR can't hold a candle to what the geniuses in our San Francisco studios can do.On a monitor at a desk in the newsroom, the play -- Nate Schierholtz's one-hop dart to Posey that beat Cousins to the plate by a good 10 feet before Posey dropped the ball and saw his season placed in jeopardy by a strong-safely style blast in the chest -- played over and over and back and over and back. For a good, long while. Thus, now more than ever, there is no hesitation in issuing the following unequivocal, iron-clad-confidence-based statement: Clean play. Based on frame-by-frame examination, Cousins did the only thing he could have possibly thought to do in order to score that run.Anyone who wants to say it was a cheap shot is wrong. They haven't seen the video like this. Sorry guys. You're wrong.Still need convincing? Take a look at the slide show we've put together.SLIDESHOW: Scott Cousins vs. Buster Posey
The cleanliness of the play has been the subject of much debate. Hopefully you'll check out the slide show and see why those calling it a clean play are correct.The play has spawned another hot debate, though, too, and that one's even more lopsided than the first.It's been suggested, in the wake of the play that might cost Posey his season, that MLB needs to take a long, hard look at home-plate collisions and consider legislature that makes life safer for catchers.Anyone got a puke bucket? How about a tutu? Perhaps a red jersey, like the quarterbacks wear in practice in the NFL, a non-verbal "Don't Touch Me" sign?Please. If it were Buster Posey who blew up the Marlins' catcher Wednesday night, Giants fans would be talking about what a gamer he is. What a hard-nosed, country hardball stud! Heck, if Posey hadn't been hurt, we might be saying the same thing about Cousins and Buster. No harm, no foul, right?But there was harm. Lots of it. All to Posey. And as a result, some Giants fans are calling foul.Please. Knock it off. Collisions have been part of the game forever, and only a handful of catchers have been seriously injured in them. Ray Fosse's career was greatly compromised by the unnecessary hit he took from Pete Rose in the 1970 All-Star Game, for instance. And if you want to come up with a rule that rules out collisions at All-Star Games, fine. That makes sense.So does a fat fine and lengthy suspension for anyone deemed by MLB to have administered an NFL-style hit, a free-safety launch that ends with helmet-to-helmet contact. That would serve as an effective deterrent for runners who go in search of damage for the sake of damage.Were such a rule in effect, however, Cousins wouldn't have draw a fine. He did what he felt he needed to do to win a game. Nothing more, nothing less.Outlaw collisions at the plate? Why not eliminate takeout slides, too? And while you're at it, immediately toss anyone who hits a batter with a pitch, intent or not. Come on, people. Too many folks are overreacting here, and it needs to stop. What happened to Posey stinks. No question about it. It's awful. But it happened for no reason other than a baseball play that happens many, many times over the course of a season went awry through no fault of the play's participants.Change the rule? No. Collisions at the plate and injuries are part of the game. Pure and simple. If you want a contact-free game, head to your local softball field and get behind the 50-and-over league.You want real baseball, risks and rewards, all of which the players were well aware of, and well-compensated for? Stay with your Giants, hope they can gut it out without Posey. and don't change a damn thing.Oh, and one last thing. All the people calling for a rule change? Not one of them has presented an actual idea, much less a good one, for what would go into such a change.Why might that be? You figure it out. Baseball did a long time ago.