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Buster Posey schadenfreude? No, that’s taking it too far

May 27, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

posey catching Getty Images

I said in the recaps this morning that I think the tone of mourning that has surrounded Buster Posey‘s injury is a bit much. But in my mind it’s preferable to this, from the AZ Snakepit blog:

But, let’s be brutally honest. While on one level, it’s a terrible thing, there’s a dark corner of just about every non-Giant fan which woke up this morning, read that Posey could be out for the season and gave a little fist-pump. Because their team’s chances of dethroning the Giants as World Series champions just got a little bit better.

There is a lot of ground between the extremes of sappy “we’re all Giants fans today”-style blather and “fist bumps” over a guy’s leg being bent like a piece of licorice. Like say, the intellectual acknowledgment that, yes, the Giants’ competitive position took a hit on Wednesday night and a raised eyebrow of optimism at, say, the Diamonbacks’ or Rockies’ chances. Which happens to be true and does not require any value-judgment about a person’s injury.

I think the difference between those two things is not so much about being a good person or being a bad person as much as it is having some sort of distance between one’s emotions and one’s rooting interest.  Which is to say, I don’t think this writer or anyone else who goes the “fist bumps” route is doing so because they’re evil. Rather, they’re simply doing so because they’re way too invested in their baseball team to allow for basic decency to enter into the equation to trump the tribalism on display in the linked piece.

There’s nothing less appealing in sports fans than when they fail to realize that there’s a life outside of who they root for. Don’t be that guy, OK?

  1. danberman4 - May 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    I’m a Brewer fan and it never occurred to me to “pump my fist” today. I’ve never felt the need to celebrate someone’s injury.

  2. itsacurse - May 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    While nobody would begrudge the D-Backs from seizing this opportunity, how about aspiring to beat a full-strength opponent and acknowledging that everybody is a little worse off when deprived of that opportunity?

  3. drmonkeyarmy - May 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I am a Phillies fan and I wasn’t the least bit happy about the injury; let alone happy enough to do a fist pump. Who wants to see this kids career possibly ruined hobbling around the rest of his life? I want the Phillies to beat the Giants in October, but not like that.

  4. bigxrob - May 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    How very northeast corridor of that writer.

  5. ditto65 - May 27, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    It is one thing to be happy when a guy is struggling at the plate. It is a whole different animal that celebrates an injury. Grow.Up.

  6. stottsera - May 27, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    had to google schadenfreude

  7. 2 Think Good - May 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Agreed. Liked your point about the writer not being evil but rather self-absorbed. I’ll go a step further, I’d be shocked if he — I’d really be shocked if ‘he’ was a ‘she’ — had kids.

  8. Gobias Industries - May 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I didn’t give a fist pump but that’s only because we Dog Pounders haven’t given a fist pump since Arsenio Hall died in 1995, not long after they canceled his show. You know, out of respect. Wait…he did die, right? Yeah, he probably died.

    • mplsjoe - May 27, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Comment of the day.

  9. b7p19 - May 27, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Not proud of this, but the first thought that came to my head when I heard he was out for the season was…”Why couldn’t this have happened down the stretch last year so my Padres could have made the playoffs.” I quickly realized those thoughts aren’t cool, but I’m probably still a bad person for thinking it.

  10. Jonny 5 - May 27, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    I think this blogger might just fist pump his noodle entirely too much. He emulates a perpetual jerk _ff.

  11. Utley's Hair - May 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    This is like—though much more widespread, mind you—the reaction to LaRussa and his shingles. The interim manager refused to use LaRussa’s office out of respect.

  12. cur68 - May 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    I must be the most naive person in the world; it never occurred to me that someone would go out there and WRITE something like that for public consumption. It’s bad enough when people get on here and make humorous comments about Posey getting hurt but I always thought the moderators or authors of these things were supposed to show a measure of class. You know, report the news, not give an opinion in favor of the kid maybe being done for the season or his career. When the hell did baseball become that important?

    • ta192 - May 27, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      I trust you know the derivation of the term, “Fan”, right?

      • cur68 - May 27, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        And I also know the derivation of the terms ‘reality’, ‘class’, and ‘Maisonneuve fracture’. Being a fan is one thing, celebrating a kid’s broken joint is quite another.

      • ta192 - May 27, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        We live in an era where supposedly responsible public office seekers make reference to “2nd Amendment remedies”, surely you can’t hold mere mortals like baseball fans to a higher standard…

      • cur68 - May 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        ta; I’m a Canadian so I get all “um, er…what?” when the various Amendments are brought up. That’s the one about guns right? Wikipedia says so, so I’m running with it. I trust I don’t have to explain my position on “2nd Amendment solutions”?

        All I expect of anyone is to be aware of what’s real and what’s made up. Baseball is made up. A shredded ankle is real.

        Even if the kid was a Yankee and that was a Blue Jay that steam rolled him, I still think its the wrong thing to do and I am as big a Blue Jay fan as any of you are of your teams. It just isn’t worth either kid’s career/health to collide like that.

  13. simon94022 - May 27, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    An ugly sentiment to root for anybody’s injury, but unfortunately it’s not too surprising to learn that some fans think that way.

    But I AM surprised to learn from this post that there’s actually such a thing as an “Arizona Diamondback fan”. I would like to learn more about this phenomenon.

  14. professor59 - May 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    On one hand, I am saddened by the loss, however temporary, of one of the game’s rising stars.
    On the other hand, my level of grief might be directly proportional to the percentage of my fantasy teams he started for.

  15. frankvzappa - May 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    the only person whose leg i would be celebrating that happening to is Lebron James (or any terrorist politician who voted to extend the fascist patriot act)…

    • Utley's Hair - May 27, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Leave it to you to inject politics into a post that has not a shred of politics in it.


  16. sayheykidwschamp - May 27, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Ehhh, whatever, it’s from Arizona and they have bigger problems as a state. I would have expected this from Dodger fans and writers. If the AZ feels their best option to win the division is to hope and cheer when key Giants players get injured, they must not think much of their home team and validates that the Giants as a whole have the best chance to continue as NLWest champs for years to come.

  17. spudchukar - May 27, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Self-absorbed is one way of putting it. But what I hear is more a vision of grandeur. Look the Giants had a great season last year. Kudos. But most baseball people entered 2011 believing the Giants were more of a one year wonder than odds on favorites to repeat. A very good starting staff, but many, many question marks elsewhere. Posey certainly burst on to the scene, and was thrust into the heat of battle and performed admirably. Neither he nor the Giants were soaring in 2011. In a weak division they led by a mere 2.5 games, were 6 over .500 and Posey wasn’t tearing it up either, with a .756 OPS.

    The fist pumps didn’t occur for two reasons. Posey is a likeable talent, and most baseball people do not enjoy seeing anyone injured, especially a bright young charismatic budding star. The second, and more to the point of this article is that the rest of the baseball universe never considered the Giants some over arching inevitable repeats.

  18. Chris Fiorentino - May 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    “There’s nothing less appealing in sports fans than when they fail to realize that there’s a life outside of who they root for.”

    Craig, what this guy was stupid and wrong on a whole new level. Don’t lump him and his thought in with those of us who live and die with our teams, OK. Obviously, there’s a life outside of who some of us root for. But I for one am happier the day after a Phillies win and more pissed off the day after a Phillies loss. That doesn’t make me less of a person, nor more of a fan. It makes me who I am…a person who devotes a LOT of himself to his team, and when they disappoint, I feel it for a long time. You want to say that makes me have less of a life, then that’s fine for you to have your opinion. I just have to respectfully disagree wholeheartedly.

    p.s. As I said before, I didn’t watch a single pitch of the 2011 World Series, except for a couple innings with no sound at a bar I got stuck at one night. The 2010 NLCS loss was too painful. If that means I have no life outside of baseball, then I plead guilty as charged.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      2010 World Series 😦 I plan to watch every pitch of the 2011 World Series :)

      • spudchukar - May 27, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Who will you be rooting for the Cards or the Rays?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        Since you asked, I will give you my criteria for watching the World Series…

        If the Phillies are in it, I schedule the week of my life around it. Whether I am going, which this year, I’ll be at either 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 depending on who wins the all-star game. I’ll make sure I have the other days either off from work or off the following days, depending on whether it is a weekend or weekday.

        If the Red Sox are in it, I will watch because they are my second favorite team and I root for them when they don’t play the Phillies.

        If the Yankers are in it, I will also watch to root against them because I just hate them very much.

        If none of the above 3 teams are in, I won’t see a pitch, won’t watch a highlight, and won’t even know the winner until the next day…what’s the point? I’m not a baseball fan…I’m a Phillies/Red Sox/”Yanker Hater”.

      • cur68 - May 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        Chris; all I know about you and the Phills is that you stand a reasonable chance of spending the playoffs in jail, butt naked, and wishing you’d listened to me. I hope to be wrong, as do your children, wife, grandchildren and anyone else who might be in the path of ‘naked running Phillie Phan’.

      • Utley's Hair - May 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        Seisenta y ocho, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Thanks a lot.

  19. quintjs - May 27, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Not only would I never celebrate someone getting hurt – I don’t even agree with the point of the story.

    Not saying my Red Sox will even make the playoffs much yet the World Series, but if they did the only NL team that really worries me is the Phillies. The more NL teams that play well, the less chance the Phillies have to make the world series. Thus I reason the Posey injury hurts every AL teams chances of winning the world series.

    Sorry other NL teams – I know some of you guys are very very good, but no one wants to face Halladay and Lee twice in a 7 game series.

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