Buster Posey let it be known on Tuesday night -- with his actions and then his words -- that he is worth way too much money to be getting hurt because San Francisco Giants teammate Hunter Strickland and Washington Nats slugger Bryce Harper want to break out into an MMA brawl in the middle of a baseball game.
In situations of players charging the mound, the catcher usually gets between the hitter and the pitcher, or is a few steps behind once the melee pops off.
When Harper went after Hunter, Posey just stood there and played spectator. He later explained why, but the answer won’t get him any street credibility or props as a ride-or-die teammate. Not sure how his teammates feel about that one either.
Posey’s been there for his teammates as a player every step of the way, winning multiple chips with San Francisco, becoming an MVP and the premier backstop in the game. When a confrontation is about to jump off, a catcher's job is to try and stop the batter from getting to the pitcher.
Posey forgot those duties.
He’s the complete opposite of Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who is in his fifth decade in the game. Baker is as old school as they come. Baker’s teams are usually among the league leaders in beanball wars and brawls, and he was all for Harper’s reaction.
“What’s a man supposed to do,” Baker said. “He’s not a punching bag.”
Both philosophies have merit, but team competition is about taking risks and having your teammates’ back at all costs. They have to know that you can count on them as much as they count on you.
Posey has opened himself up to being a target by opposing teams in my opinion. By refusing to get immediately involved in the melee and hoping to possibly avoid it, I wonder who is going to defend Posey when he becomes a victim of baseball’s inevitable bean wars.