Tag Archives: BUSTER POSEY

Revisiting the Posey Play ~ OR ~ Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone!

Here it is again for the 1,000th time. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

This is a repost of a blog I wrote on February 23, 2012.  It’s in response to the little nasties that are surfacing blaming Buster Posey for the new rule changes involving direct hits on the catcher at the plate.   Class act that he is, Buster’s remaining mum on the subject.  But I’m not.  So for those who haven’t been on planet earth for the past two years, once again, here’s the photo that negates the “blocking the plate” theory.   So please, put a sock in it.

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The only reason I’m bringing this up again is because Calcaterra over at Hardball Talk said Posey was told to “stop” blocking the plate.   This implies that Posey “was” blocking the plate, which he was not as the photo above clearly shows.  The runner intentionally left the baseline with a spectacular charge  aimed directly towards the catcher with no intention of getting to the home plate.  The runner, Scott Cousins,  said later his intention was to dislodge the ball~ which he could not, because Buster never had it.

But here’s what’s really amazing about this photo.   Notice the umpire.  No one  had a better birds-eye view than this umpire, standing steadfast and staring intently at the play as it was happening and boom!  Crash!  Bam! Slam!   The play’s over and the umpire calls the runner safe, run counts,  and the catcher is lying mortally wounded* (defined below) on the field.  What the heck was he thinking?  The umpire I mean.

Somehow it seems reasonable that MLB Rule 7.08 (b) could be construed to somehow apply in this situation.  A good attorney could probably make it work.  I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire has total charge of the game.   And in this case I  think he let this one get by.  Too bad.  Would have been a real feather in his cap if he’d stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) took a stand and said something like “No more! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch”.   Like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

Who knows?  An umpire taking a stand.  Might have changed the game forever.  He has the authority to do that you know. Baseball needs a little cleaning up.   It’s not just bulldozing the catcher at the plate that can get really nasty, but what about all those pitches thrown at the batter’s head, back, arm, foot, leg in retaliation for some stupid reason (there are hundreds of them) that everyone knows about, including the umpires.  They all know what’s going on.  It’s extremely rare that a pitcher gets thrown out of a game for hitting or trying to hit a batter, even though it happens regularly.  And if a pitcher does happen to be ejected for intentionally hitting a batter the minimum fine is a whopping $200! (MLB Rule 8.02)  Can you believe it?  Who makes these rules.  I mean a batter could get killed, and has, from one of those bean balls.

“The Scales of Justice”

Here in the land of fruits and nuts according to Wikipedia, “on April 6, 2006, in a case arising from a game involving community college baseball teams, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California assume the risk of being hit by baseballs even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.” So I guess the message is  if you’ve got the moxie to do it, do it in California.

You might notice I’ve not once tried to blame any of  this on Scott Cousins (see my June 4, 2011 post).  Scott was doing what he was trained to do which is to do everything he can to win. And he did.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking”

No, this is something that falls on the  Major League Umpires Association.  They’re the only ones who can get this violent aspect of the game  under control and they don’t need any rule changes to do it.   If they’d start bouncing players out of the game when they resort to these retaliatory pitches and the unnecessary violence at the plate and elsewhere, the players would get the message and it would stop.  The question is, will they?  The answer is,  probably not.  They’d have to move  a tad out of their comfort zone and who the heck wants to do that?

* Mortally Wounded Defined:   A mortal wound is a very severe and serious injury (almost always a form of penetration or laceration) whether accidental or inflicted intentionally…

Woo Hoo! Hunter Pence Gets his Multi-Year Contract!

This is huge!   Breaking news for sure, and it follows the day his teammates voted him winner of this year’s Willie Mac Award.

Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants: Five Year, $90 Million Extension on his Contract, that’s what they’re saying.

Oops!  He's all ours now!

Oops! He’s all ours now!

I remember vividly last year when Hunter Pence signed with the Giants and flew into SFO to play in that night’s game.  However, the flight was delayed and Pence arrived about 30 minutes after the game ended.  But thanks to our loyal Comcast the cameras were on him as he arrived through the gate enroute to the clubhouse, duffel bag thrown over his shoulders, with our loyal “gonna be” fans waving and asking for autographs.

They obviously knew more about Hunter  than I did.  I mean, who was this guy?  I liked his persona  immediately as he dropped everything to sign autographs, shake hands, and basically just endear himself to the fans.   And this was late, like 11:30 PM, most of the park lights had been shut down, and you know he must have been tired.  I mean it was 2:30 AM Philly time.

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

So that’s my first exposure to Hunter Pence and it’s been all uphill since as we remember  his rousing speech to the troops to keep going last year.  This was the speech that got them to and through the playoffs for a chance to win the World Series, and win the World Series they did.

And 2013 has been another great year.  Well, not such a great year according to the standings, but who cares about that?   Our team has character, charisma, compatability, and the loyalty of 41,000 fans on any given day.

baseball heart imageSo welcome to five more years in San Francisco Hunter Pence!  We, the best fans in Major League Baseball “softly” love you (sorry Buster)  and open our hearts to you as you’ve opened yours to us.

Victorino and Posey, Blowing in the Wind

Last night during the Giants and Red Sox game, it got really interesting in the bottom of the 8th. The score was 2-1, Red Sox in the lead. The Giants had a runner on third with one out when Buster Posey hit a corker out to right field that was foul, which Shane Victorino chose to catch rather than letting it land foul, thereby allowing the runner on third to score. Had the ball landed foul, it would have been dead, and the runner would have remained on third. As a result, the SF Giants, hugging the cellar in the NL West, were able to score, and then score again, and hang onto a 3-2 lead in the 9th to beat the Sox, who were leading the AL East prior to the game.

Immediately after the game a rather lively discussion about the Victorino catch ensued about whether he should or shouldn’t have caught that ball. Here’s the options discussed:

1. Because it was Buster Posey, reigning NL MVP, he could have hit the next pitch out of the park for a 3-run homer. Better to retire him now than risk it.

2. The play only allowed a tie game, it wasn’t a go-ahead run. They can get them next inning.

3. It was windy at the park, and there was a chance the ball, barely foul, might have blown back in-bounds. Better to catch it while you can.

Victorino said there was no question in his mind he was going to catch the ball, knowing full well the runner was going to score. His manager agreed with him. After the game the Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, agreed too. And today before the final game in the series, the announcers generally agreed it wasn’t even open for discussion. The only logical option available was to catch the ball and let the chips fall where they may.

Personally, I was totally confused for the rest of the game. For some reason I didn’t think the runner could score on that caught foul ball. I’ve spent all morning looking through the MLB Rulebook and couldn’t find a thing about it and, of course, if that were true we’d be having a completely different discussion today. So be it. And so now it’s back to my pesky little scorebook to try and figure out how to record the darned thing. Never a dull moment in baseball, even in the most boring of games, last night not being one of them.

Thank you Guillermo Quiroz ….. It’s Why We Love the Game.

Guillermo Guiroz.  Click for MLB Video

Guillermo Guiroz. Click for MLB Video

Baseball’s unlike any other sport.  It’s the only one I know that’s not given time restraints.  A one-half inning lasts as long as it takes to get three outs.  It could last for only three pitches, or it could go on for hours, or seem like it.  Take the fifth inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and Giants.   The Giants lead 5-0 at the beginning of the 5th, and then it all fell apart as the Dodgers scored seven runs, one after the other, on and on and on.  I thought it would never end, but finally it did and by the end of the 9th inning the score  was tied 9-9, and we were in overtime ~ extra innings.

It’s a fluke that third string back-up catcher Guillermo Quiroz was even on the roster last night.  Hector Sanchez is the regular back-up catcher for Buster Posey and had been sent back to the Minors only the day before.   So when Quiroz steps up to the plate I’m thinking what the heck’s going on.  I mean doesn’t Bochy know it’s the 10th inning?  I was already a little perturbed with Boche after leaving Vogey in to get really hammered in the fifth ~ he should have taken him out earlier.  So when  Guillermo steps up to the plate I turned up the volume and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. 

What happened next happens all the time in baseball.  In fact, it happened the night before with Buster Posey and was no big deal.   Well, it was a big deal, but we’ve gotten a little spoiled with Buster so you rather expect this sort of thing from him. 

And it isn’t even that Guillermo Quiroz really smacked the hell out of that first pitch for the game-winning home run.  It was what happened after, as he looked out at that ball flying towards infinity, and you knew that he knew it was gone.  No doubt in his mind.  And when his arms went up in the air and he started towards first base he had a huge smile on his face, yelling something that made you realize that “spirit of victory” that we’ve all heard about so often is more than just a saying …..it’s why we love the game.   And we really loved the game tonight.

And to be honest, I was smiling and yelling right along with him.  The dishes could wait.

“Looking Good, Buster”

buster posey on mens health magazine cover

I never give up a chance to ooh and ahh about one of my very favorite baseball guys.  Buster’s got it all.   And he’s an honest-to-goodness family man to boot.  Go ahead Buster  ~ keep setting  an example for all those youngsters needing a real live hero to look up to.  And for us old folks too.  God knows we’re as desperate for a hero as the next guy.  Kudos to Men’s Health Magazine who hit the nail on the head with this one! 

 

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013 ~ AT&T Park

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Thousands of San Francisco Giants fans decked out in orange and black showed up for the 2013 Fan Fest this year at AT&T Park.   I’m posting my own photo’s along with a smathering of those from the San Jose Mercury News.  Maybe you’ll spot yourself in one.  A special thank you for those who so kindly allowed me to get a quick snapshot – usually because of something that really struck my fancy, like the “Kings Wear Rings” guy with the big smile  or the guy with the great “Giants Know October” shirt.  Giants fans are great and so much fun to be around, especially when it’s beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and smiles everywhere!  I can’t honestly think of a  better place to be on a beautiful sunny day  than at AT&T Park.  And the Giants players gave so much of themselves with the interviews, autographs and just taking the time to stop and chat with their fans.  Whatta great bunch of guys we have here!   And that’s exactly what you’d expect from the reigning World Champions and the best fans in all of baseball.

GFBB Update:  The Giants have estimated nearly 40,000 in attendance at this year’s Fan Fest.  See more Photo’s on the MLB Blog Website.

 

“Tigers and Giants Going to the Ship”!

“Congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers and the NL Champion San Francisco Giants!”

The Ship means “Championship” at least that’s what Sergio Romo told us back in 2010.   This is going to be fun! 

The Tigers  posted a regular season record of 88 Wins and 74 Losses and ended up beating the socks off  the New York Yankees, a team with 95 Wins and 67 Losses,  for the American League Pennant.  Not only did they beat the Yankees, they beat them really, really bad.  Try 4-0 in a best out of 7 series.    Weapons ~ Justin Verlander, last year’s Cy Young award winner AND MVP;  Miguel Cabrera, first batter to win the AL Triple Crown since 1966 and Prince Fielder, who finished the 2012 Season with .313 Batting Average and 30 Home Runs.

Excuse me while I pinch myself.  I still can’t figure out how the Giants ended up in the World Series this year.   Spring training showed a recuperating Buster Posey, an out-for-the-year Brian Wilson and a pretty good, but not as-good-as-they-used-to-be pitching staff.  There were no individual stand-outs, with maybe the exception of Posey, until these past few months and things just started to happen.  That’s how they do it in San Francisco.  They got together in the clubhouse, put their heads together, posted a 94-68 record and “believed”.  

After one of the wildest Championship Division Series ever my prediction is the Detroit Tigers will win the first three games and the Giants will win the rest.  I don’t know why, that’s just the way they do it in San Francisco.

First Game:  Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Time TBA, at AT&T Park.

Way to Go Giants! Pundits be Damned!

Golly Geez!  I try really hard to play fair on my blog, but sometimes,when it comes to the Giants, the devil makes me do it.   So in spite of  all the setbacks this year, the Giants are back in the playoffs for the 2nd time in three years.  And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Buster Posey was here the first year, gone the second, and back the third. 

But everyone knows it’s a team effort and for that we Giants fans applaud our San Francisco Giants ~ 2012 National League West Champions!

And a special thanks to niece Tammy for sharing the “dogs” from Lamont & Tonelli’s FB Page!

Giants Steal the Show at All-Star Game!

By Daniel Brown dbrown@mercurynews.com
San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   July 10, 2012   

All Photo’s Courtesy of San Jose Mercury News

“KANSAS CITY, Mo. — To repay the fans who stuffed the ballot box, the Giants stuffed the box score Tuesday night.”

Melky Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Matt Cain propelled the National League to an 8-0 victory in the 83rd All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium, silencing a weeklong uproar from a sour Big Apple.

Sandoval, who surpassed Mets third baseman David Wright in the controversial final balloting, hit a three-run triple to key a five-run first inning.

Cain, who got the starting nod over Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, pitched two scoreless innings and became the first Giants pitcher to win an All-Star game since Vida Blue in 1981. Continue reading

ESPN, SportsCenter and Buster Posey

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen Buster Posey on a lot of interviews and he’s a really nice guy.   The impression one might get from watching this commercial is that Buster’s kind of a self-centered jerk, which he isn’t.  So I’m wondering;

  1. Who writes these commercials?
  2. Who decides which players get to say what?
  3. Are they out to get the guy?
  4. Are they trying to make him look impatient and self-absorbed?

To tell you the truth I’m not a huge ESPN fan (still a little testy over the 2010 World Series treatment they gave us Giants fans) and this little spot doesn’t help much.  I’d like to see something that represents the true Buster Posey;  something like what Amy G.  does on her “Buster Knows Squat” series.

Joey Mauer’s “Head & Shoulders Shampoo” Commercial

I guess we’re all a little protective of Buster Posey here in the Bay Area.  I hate to say it but I’d almost rather see him doing some of those Joey Mauer commercials, you know, the Head & Shoulders thing.  Not that he has dandruff or anything but it would make him appear more like the really nice guy he is.

Nice Guy Buster

I mean Joey gets to smile in all those shampoo commercials, and I’m sure Buster has just as much to be happy about as Joey.   Seeing nice guy Buster Posey laughing and smiling on a national TV commercial after all he’s been through.  Now that’s a commercial I’d really like to see.  How about it ESPN?

“CAIN’S PERFECT GAME REIGNS ~ INSANE!!”

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 Celebrating Matt Cain’s Perfect Game at AT&T Park.  Giants 10, Astros 0.  Photo’s courtesy of San Jose Mercury News and (1) my Comcast TV!

I thought the World Series win would be the ultimate thrill for this San Francisco Giants fan.  But tonight at AT&T Park, Matt Cain pitched the first perfect game in the history of the franchise, and believe you me, it’s got to be the best feeling in the world for any true-blue Giants fan.

Matt’s pitching was dead-on perfect all night, but It didn’t really hit me until around the seventh inning, that this was going to be something really, really special.  It wasn’t just the pitching, but the Giants’ bats were hot all night and the incredible fielding, particularly in the 7th and the 9th innings, well all of it really, was spot-on.   An incredible team effort.

When the ball hit Belt’s mitt for that final out in the ninth, I could hardly see what was happening as my emotions got the best of me.  But I managed to see Buster Posey charge to the mound and physically lift the  6′ 3″, 235 pound Cain up and carry him probably 10 feet before everyone let their emotions rip.  Matt said later that he trusted Buster’s calls all night, never questioned one, and just let it happen.  Of course, every pitch he had was near perfect on this night, so between the two of them it was destined to happen.

Said Matt after the game, “It was an all out effort tonight and it turned out perfect.  It was awesome!” Said Buster when asked if he was nervous,  “I was as nervous as I’ve ever been on a baseball field.  It’s a different kind of nervous, different from the World Series.”

As for me, I’m exhausted, stoked! Have to go watch that game again!!  Thank you Matt Cain.  This is almost better than the World Series!!   Almost :))  Or as Chelsea Cain, Matt’s wife, expressed after the game, “This is insane!”

Here’s a great re-cap from Alex Pavlovic at the San Jose Mercury News.

Leesburg, Georgia …. What’s Going on Down There?

Who ever heard of Leesburg anyway?   The name kept going through my head all week as I was anxiously awaiting the results of this year’s American idol winner.   Philip Phillips is one of the two finalists.  Philip is from Leesburg.  Where have I heard that name before?  And then it hits me ~ our very own Buster Posey is from Leesburg, GA.  A quick search on Wikipedia confirmed it.  But for Pete’s sake, the total population of Leesburg according to the last census is only 2,965, so I can’t help but wonder what the heck they’re feeding those kids down there.  Or maybe it’s something in the water.   Whatever it is the place is oozing with talent.

Buster’s sister, Samantha, is on the Valdosta State Softball team that just won the 2012 NCAA Division II National Softball Championship this year.    Well it appears they’re doing something right in Leesburg.  Maybe the rest of the country should take note.   I mean, what’s the odds of having these (and who knows how many others)  like-able, humble kids make it to the big time, at the national level, from a little podunk town in Georgia.

So hats off to the parents, teachers and townsfolk of Leesburg, GA.   Send some more our way.   Let’s spread, whatever it is you’ve got, around a little bit!