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. Tyler Skaggs leaves after 4 2/3 hitless innings due to apparent arm injury

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

    Tyler Skaggs Getty Getty Images

    Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs was working on a no-hitter against the Orioles this evening before he left his start with an apparent arm injury.

  2. Cliff Lee exits start with recurrence of flexor pronator strain

    Jul 31, 2014, 8:39 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee AP AP

    Cliff Lee has aggravated the flexor pronator strain that has already cost him two months. It’s safe to say that his season is over.

  3. Athletics will go ahead with Yoenis Cespedes t-shirt night even after trade to Red Sox

    Jul 31, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    b42a3c37d8e650e611bed40b8ce53060 Getty Images

    Yoenis Cespedes t-shirt night is a little awkward now that he’s with the Red Sox, but the Athletics are going ahead with the giveaway anyway.

  4. Tampa Bay news station tweets classless Detroit joke following David Price trade

    Jul 31, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

    detroit price tweet

    For some reason, FOX 13 in Tampa Bay thought it was a good idea to make a classless joke about Detroit to console Rays fans following the David Price trade.

  5. No ligament damage in Matt Cain’s elbow, but he’s dealing with “loose bodies”

    Jul 31, 2014, 6:16 PM EDT

    matt cain giants getty Getty Images

    Matt Cain’s ulnar collateral ligament has checked out fine, but he’s dealing with “loose bodies” in his throwing elbow and it’s unclear when he’ll pitch again.

  6. Diamondbacks call up former elite prospect Andy Marte

    Jul 31, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    andy-marte-indians-broken-bat Getty Images

    Once upon a time Andy Marte was one of the best prospects in baseball. He cracked Baseball America’s top 15 list in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

  7. Cubs trade James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves for a catching prospect.

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT

    Russell_James

    The Braves get their lefty and a venerable super sub. The Cubs get an interesting catching prospect.

  8. Yankees designate Brian Roberts for assignment

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Brian Roberts Getty Images

    Shortly after acquiring Stephen Drew and Martin Prado in separate trades this afternoon the Yankees announced that starting second baseman Brian Roberts has been designated for assignment.

  9. Jared Cosart traded from Houston to Miami

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Cosart AP AP

    Some pitching heading Miami’s way.

  10. Kurt Suzuki stays in Minnesota, signs extension with Twins

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Kurt Suzuki Twins AP

    All month the assumption has been that the Twins would either sign Kurt Suzuki to a contract extension or trade the 30-year-old impending free agent in the middle of his career-year.

  11. The Yankees acquire Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Martin Prado AP

    A super sub at heart who can and will be used at multiple positions by the Yankees.

  12. 2014 Trade Deadline Tracker

    Jul 31, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    Recapping all of Thursday’s dealings in one spot.

  13. Cats and dogs, working together: Red Sox trade Stephen Drew to Yankees for Kelly Johnson

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Stephen Drew Getty Images

    How committed are the Red Sox to blowing up the roster? They just made a trade with the Yankees–the Yankees–sending shortstop Stephen Drew to New York just 39 games after re-signing him to a $10 million deal.

  14. ACES GALORE: The Rays trade David Price to the Tigers

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    With Price in town, a guy who one the AL MVP and Cy Young Award a couple of years ago is now the TIgers fourth starter.

  15. Indians trade Asdrubal Cabrera to Nationals

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Asdrubal Cabrera Getty Images

    In search of infield help with Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list again, the Nationals have acquired switch-hitting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians in exchange for minor leaguer Zach Walters.

  16. Orioles acquire Andrew Miller from Red Sox

    Jul 31, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    This morning the Red Sox were reportedly close to trading left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Tigers, but that deal apparently fell through because now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Miller has been sent to the Orioles.

  17. The Mariners acquire Chris Denorfia from the Padres

    Jul 31, 2014, 2:21 PM EDT

    denorfia getty Getty Images

    A lefty masher is having a down year, but he can help out in Seattle.

  18. Brewers acquire Gerardo Parra from Diamondbacks

    Jul 31, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Gerardo Parra Getty Getty Images

    Parra’s offensive production has dropped off this season, falling about 50 points compared to his career norms, but he remains an excellent defensive corner outfielder capable of handling center field if needed.

Featured video

The Jon Lester-Yoenis Cespedes trade is a win-win
Top 10 MLB Player Searches