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Mike Matheny blames Scott Cousins for Buster Posey’s injury

May 30, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT

Mike Matheny AP

Four-time Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny, whose career was ended by concussions, said Scott Cousins was “hunting” when he hit Buster Posey and knocked out the 2010 Rookie of the Year for the rest of the season.

“You know what, it wasn’t a dirty play, he didn’t come high spikes, he didn’t come high elbow,” Matheny said Monday. “But it wasn’t a necessary play. He was hunting. Buster gave him an option and he didn’t take it.”

Matheny, who played for the Giants but is best known for the years he spent with the Cardinals, said that he’s not in favor of changing the rules to protect catchers, but he’s also not opposed to catchers giving back.

“I don’t think you legislate,” he said. “I think you just put a mark in the column that that kid took a run at a catcher. To me as a catcher I know the next time I get the ball I’m going to stick it to him.”

Matheny probably had several seasons left as a backup catcher before concussions ended his career in 2006.  Now 40, he said he’s largely symptom free, but that he still gets headaches and such if he overdoes it athletically.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - May 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Matheny is right and sums up my view on the subject very nicely.

  2. stoutfiles - May 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    As a runner you’re instructed to dislodge the ball from the catcher if he’s blocking the plate. Of course, as a catcher, Matheny thinks runners should slow down and try to tiptoe around him.

    • natters3206 - May 30, 2011 at 8:52 PM

      notice you said “if he’s blocking the plate.” Guess what, Posey wasn’t, whats your argument now?

  3. Old Gator - May 30, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Matheney is a whiner. Posey blocked the plate, didn’t have control of the ball, and was moving into Cousins no lose than Cousins was moving towards him whent he collision occurred. That’s life. The position that the play was clean but that Cousins was simultaneously at fault is as logically incoherent as it is bereft of any objective analysis of how the play occurred.

    • paperlions - May 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      There appear to be two options here:

      1) You believe in the power of the mind so strongly that you are still trying to will Posey to block the plate

      2) There is some other collisions between Cousins and Posey I don’t know about in which Posey did block the plate.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 30, 2011 at 8:34 PM

        Excellent Paper Lions. I can’t believe people don’t see that Posey left a clear lane for Cousens.

      • Old Gator - May 30, 2011 at 10:16 PM

        You’re missing the point. The ball had arrived and though he didn’t actually have it in his glove Posey was moving towards his left as Cousins arrived. No, he didn’t “leave a lane,” and Cousins did exactly what he was supposed to do under the circumstances. I find it ridiculous that so many observers say on one hand that it was a clean play and at the same time that Cousins should have made a decisiont that would have gotten him tagged out if Posey were in possession of the ball – which Cousins had to suppose that he was.

      • cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 1:54 AM

        Gator my friend check out this link;

        Cousin’s wasn’t even going for NEAR the plate; he’s at Posey all the way. He’s practically running at 1st base, he’s so inside the line. He hits Posey on Posey’s right shoulder and side and drives him to his left and back over the plate. There’s a clear lane there. He would have been safe, no harm, no foul, no doubt had he gone for the plate instead of Posey.

        I can’t believe this is allowed. It’s interfering with the fielder. Just like the rule book says.

    • marshallnbrown - May 31, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      Posey did NOT block the plate. There was a clear path open to it to Posey’s left. Look at the video,

  4. skerney - May 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Mike Matheny is the toughest man alive.

    • graveyard24 - May 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM

      are you blind?…

      • clydeserra - May 31, 2011 at 2:36 AM

        that picture shows posey moving to where the lane that he had left “open” was. I am not sure you are refuting Old Gators point like you think you are.

        It also reminds me of the the old question about taking a picture of an arrow the air, is it flying?

      • natters3206 - May 31, 2011 at 3:37 AM

        no, this picture doesn’t show Posey moving towards the plate, but rather it shows Cousins moving Posey’s body towards the plate with his 90′ head start body shot…

      • clydeserra - May 31, 2011 at 3:49 AM

        OK. Cousins is moving towards posey. No one said he wasn’t.

        What so you see posey doing in that picture?

      • natters3206 - May 31, 2011 at 11:07 PM

        Honestly I didn’t and still don’t seem him moving towards the plate. Maybe he would have, I don’t know he got hit before he could. I think he would have tried to simply tag him as opposed to block the entire plate in this particular play. But like I said he got hit before he could move to block the plate, so I really don’t know what he would have done.
        Although, I unlike many other people don’t believe Cousins “went after him” I think Cousins was truly worried he was going to be out and that Posey had the ball, I think if cousins would have slid behind the plate and touched it with his hand he would have been safe but he didn’t, so he decided to take Posey out instead.

  5. mornelithe - May 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    The trick is, as you apply the tag, smash the ball as hard as you possibly can into the runners kneecap. I’m sure he’ll come up with a different approach next time around. And if he dives head first, baseballs swung into the face, while inside of a glove, still hurt like a mofo and may actually shatter the bridge of the nose if you’re lucky.

    Hey, it’s about stopping the runner right? Or making the catcher drop the ball right?

  6. royalsfaninfargo - May 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    I wish this story would die. Posey is out for the year and there are far more interesting things going on in baseball than someone who was hurt last week. I have nothing against Posey or the Giants, or catchers for that matter, but there is one thing that should be pointed out. Posey plays catcher for a Major League Baseball team. One part of that job is to protect the plate. He got injured doing his job. You can argue whether it was a clean or dirty play, whether a rule should or shouldnt be changed, or even if all the attention is deserved. But that is part of his job description. Injuries happen all the time. The longer this goes on, the more this becomes a tabloid story and the less it is a baseball or even a sports story. With that said, good luck Buster. I hope you make a full recovery.

    • seattletony - May 30, 2011 at 9:28 PM

      I think it’s worth pointing out that the discussions in the press revolving around this play are mostly about potential MLB rule changes when the actual discussion should be about the necessity of the collision in the first place. MLB rule change talk always get attention.

  7. cleekk - May 31, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    I’d like to think that if Cousins had benefit of instant replay, camera angles, and the post-play insights that us with 20-20 hindsight have, he might have chosen a different angle. As he was actually running full-speed and had to make a split-second decision and in all likelihood wasn’t looking at his feet to see where he was on the basepath, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. If he had been tagged out using “the lane,” he would be under just as much scrutiny for not “manning up.” And for all we know, while Cousins was batting, Posey may have referred to Cousins’ wife as an ugly b**ch. Unfortunate that Posey was injured.

  8. chuckfu - May 31, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I’ve met Matheny – anyone that talks about him in a bad way obviously doesn’t know the man. He was a battle hardened vet behind the plate. The man was obviously very upset about ending his career.

    I’d like to see you effin’ nay sayors and braggarts try and block some hunk of huge flesh flying at you. Let the first man step up who says he can and bring some proof.

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