Skip to content

Buster Posey takes some heat after an interesting play at the plate

May 14, 2014, 8:21 AM EDT

Posey Heyward

The second run of the Braves-Giants game last night came on a Freddie Freeman single to right which scored Jason Heyward. But it was a bit more interesting than that.

See, the ball was fielded by Hunter Pence who fired it home, and the ball beat Heyward to the plate by a wide margin. Buster Posey fielded it and attempted to tag Heyward, but he just missed. Or, at the very least, he appeared to have missed, acted as if he missed and then the safe at home call was upheld on replay. Watch here.

My first thought upon seeing that was “well, Heyward is 6’5″ tall, is more athletic than he even seems and just managed to use all of his length and juking ability to contort his way out of being tagged. Tough break for the Giants, but whaddaya gonna do?”

Not everyone agrees with me that it was just a weird play and a tough break. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com believes this to be a systematic problem for Posey. That, whether it’s his being gun shy at the plate since the Scott Cousins collision in 2011 or whether it’s just a function of Posey’s philosophy on defense, Posey is hesitant to initiate contact on plays at the plate and that he’s hurting his team because of it:

Maybe a catcher doesn’t sign up to be a crash test dummy. But he signs up for contact. He signs up for the occasional collision. And frequently, it’s his job to initiate it.

Posey does not initiate contact. He is taught to stand in front of the plate and reach back, swiping at the runner. At worst, apply the tag with a glancing blow. For the second consecutive Tuesday, Posey needed to do more.

This doesn’t touch on the new impact rules at the plate, given that the ball was there well before and those rules do allow a catcher to block and initiate contact at the plate, even if they do not allow the runner to initiate contact. Rather, this is more about approach and philosophy and maybe toughness, depending on how you feel about such things.

I don’t watch enough Giants games — certainly not as many as Baggarly doees — to know whether this is an issue with Posey. I do wonder, however, whether this sort of play comes up enough to where it’s worth making an issue out of it given Posey’s value to the Giants and how bad off they’d be if he got hurt.

Latest Posts
  1. A.J. Burnett: “I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great.”

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett AP

    A.J. Burnett feels great and wants to pitch again for the Pirates before the end of the season.

  2. Chris Davis takes major league home run lead with two homers on Friday

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Chris Davis Getty Images

    Chris Davis homered twice against the Blue Jays on Friday to move past Nelson Cruz for the major league home run lead.

  3. Billy Hamilton will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday

    Sep 4, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Billy Hamilton Billy Hamilton

    Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton will rehab at Double-A and should rejoin the big league squad soon.

  4. Wil Myers activated from the 60-day disabled list

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    Wil Myers will make his long awaited return to the Padres’ lineup on Friday night after missing nearly three months with a wrist injury.

  5. Astros, Dallas Keuchel table extension talks until the off-season

    Sep 4, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Dallas Keuchel Dallas Keuchel

    The Astros want to sign Dallas Keuchel to at least a four-year extension, but the two sides won’t negotiate until the season is over.

  6. James Paxton out “at least three or four days” with torn fingernail

    Sep 4, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    James Paxton James Paxton

    James Paxton will sit for a few days while his fingernail heals, then resume rehabbing with Triple-A Tacoma.

  7. Corey Kluber tweaks hamstring, expected to miss 10 days

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Corey Kluber Corey Kluber

    Corey Kluber will miss 10 days after tweaking his hamstring in a side session.

  8. Report: Job of Tigers manager Brad Ausmus in jeopardy

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    Brad Ausmus could soon be out of a job as the Tigers sink in the AL Central.

  9. Domonic Brown diagnosed with a concussion

    Sep 4, 2015, 5:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.43.54 PM

    Brown may be done for the year.

  10. Justin Morneau returns from concussion, rejoins Rockies

    Sep 4, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT

    Justin Morneau Getty Images

    Any further concussion-related problems could force the former MVP into retirement

  11. Cardinals activate outfielder Jon Jay from the disabled list

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    jon jay getty Getty Images

    Jay missed the past two months with a wrist injury.

  12. Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey

    Sep 4, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Sandy Alderson AP

    The Matt Harvey controversy is a lot like the Stephen Strasburg shutdown of 2012. But Sandy Alderson is not going to do what Mike Rizzo did, someone close to him says.

  13. Yankees (finally) place Mark Teixeira on the disabled list

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT

    Mark Teixeira AP

    Teixeira suffered the injury on August 17.

  14. Scott Boras and the Mets disagree on what Matt Harvey’s innings limit is

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    Matt Harvey Matt Harvey

    Just when you thought the Mets would enjoy a smooth, controversy-free final month of the regular season.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Baez (2271)
  2. B. Crawford (2229)
  3. H. Pence (2188)
  4. B. Harper (2110)
  5. C. Seager (1972)