June 1, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVEA's PAGE A's VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
OAKLAND - Be sure about this: Billy Beane's reminder to Kurt Suzuki to avoid home plate collisions was about Suzuki, and not necessarily an A's system-wide dictum.Which is why Landon Powell smiled wryly when I asked him about it following Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees."Oh no, I'm the crash-test dummy," Powell, the A's back-up catcher, said with a laugh Wednesday afternoon. "I'm the stunt double."If you have a front-line catcher like (Buster) Posey or (Matt) Wieters or (Joe) Mauer, or Kurt, you want those guys to catch 130 games. With me, I'll catch maybe 30 games a year. Plus, I'm a little bit bigger."Powell, all 6-feet-3, 265-pound of him, laughed some more."So, my job's to get in front of the plate."Posey's season-ending ankle injury on a clean play last week when he was run over by Florida's Scott Cousins has sparked claims, mostly from the Giants and Posey's agent, that a rule has to be put into place to protect catchers from such collisions.RATTO: Posey injury a can of worms for baseball
Don't count Suzuki among those calling out from the wilderness."As a catcher, you have to be ready for plays like that," he said. "It's a part of the game, playing the game hard."I personally don't think they should change the rules because, it would make it too tough. When you're catching you know you're putting the gear on and there's a possibility of getting run over. That's the chance you take."According to ESPN.com, Beane was the first executive in baseball to reach out to a player about covering home plate."He just said, 'What happened to Posey was awful and a freak accident, but I don't want it to happen to you. Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position,'" said Suzuki, who is 5-11, 196 pounds. "He said (to) keep doing what I'm doing but don't stand in front of the plate."I'm not a guy who does that anyway."