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. Rays designate Allan Dykstra for assignment

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Allan Dykstra Allan Dykstra

    The Rays designated slugger Allan Dykstra for assignment to make room for Everett Teaford on Saturday.

  2. Video: Kevin Plawecki connects for his first major league home run

    Apr 25, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT

    Kevin Plawecki Kevin Plawecki

    Watch Kevin Plawecki swat his first major league homer.

  3. Jose Fernandez ready to face hitters for first time since Tommy John surgery

    Apr 25, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

    Jose+Fernandez+Miami+Marlins+v+San+Diego+Padres+x1Pnh0XpK7ol Getty Images

    The Marlins have stumbled out of the gate with a disappointing 6-11 record, but they entered play today on a three-game win streak and here’s some good news about their rehabbing ace.

  4. Former Cubs catcher, Expos manager Jim Fanning dies at 87

    Apr 25, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT

    jim fanning

    Fanning was involved in baseball for more than 60 years.

  5. Blue Jays release left-hander Ricky Romero

    Apr 25, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    ricky romero jays getty Getty Images

    It looked like the Blue Jays had one of the best young left-handed pitchers in the game after Romero compiled a 3.60 (119 ERA+) across his first three seasons in the majors, but his career veered off track after 2011 due to control problems and knee issues.

  6. Matt Albers headed to DL with finger injury suffered in benches-clearing brawl

    Apr 25, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    Albers suffered a compression fracture of a finger on his throwing hand during Thursday’s brawl.

  7. Report: Rangers will pay Josh Hamilton less than $7 million; deal includes opt-out after two years

    Apr 25, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    josh hamilton angels getty Getty Images

    The Rangers will reportedly only be responsible for less than $7 million of Hamilton’s remaining contract.

  8. Anthony Rendon begins minor league rehab assignment

    Apr 25, 2015, 1:58 PM EDT

    anthony rendon getty Getty Images

    Anthony Rendon suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee in early March, but he’s finally close to joining the Nationals.

  9. Trevor Bauer scratched from start due to illness

    Apr 25, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Trevor Bauer AP

    TJ House will start in his place against Detroit.

  10. Suspensions announced for Thursday’s brawl between the White Sox and Royals

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

    Six players were suspended for Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Royals. Yordano Ventura got the longest suspension with seven games.

  11. Video: Nelson Cruz hits 459-foot blast for MLB-leading ninth home run

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners Getty Images

    Nelson Cruz just keeps on mashing for the Mariners.

  12. Chris Sale tried to go into the Royals’ clubhouse after Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

    Five players were ejected after Thursday’s benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Royals, but there was also some drama behind the scenes.

  13. Yasiel Puig leaves game after aggravating hamstring injury

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:20 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

    Could a trip to the disabled list be in Yasiel Puig’s future?

  14. Video: Nolan Arenado doing Nolan Arenado things

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:38 AM EDT

    Nolan Arenado AP

    Check out a double-dose of defensive excellence from Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.

  15. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:49 AM EDT

    Carlos Martinez AP

    A quick recap of a busy Friday night around MLB, including another promising outing from Carlos Martinez.

  16. Dodgers promote Sergio Santos, DFA Xavier Cedeno

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos Sergio Santos

    The Dodgers made a couple of moves to make room for reliever Sergio Santos, called up on Friday.

  17. Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Hisashi+Iwakuma+Samurai+Japan+v+MLB+Stars+eDKaXCk7Myql Getty Images

    Hisashi Iwakuma is dealing with a strained right lat muscle.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4362)
  2. D. Travis (4161)
  3. A. Russell (3806)
  4. D. Smyly (3712)
  5. B. Zobrist (3484)
  1. D. Mesoraco (3413)
  2. T. d'Arnaud (3344)
  3. M. Wieters (3188)
  4. C. Rodon (3177)
  5. K. Bryant (3141)