Last night, the San Francisco Giants' young star catcher, Buster Posey, fractured a bone in his leg after a collision at the plate. Initially, the reports were saying he would be done for the 2011 MLB season, but now sources are reporting that he could return in about eight weeks. Either way, it is a crush to the San Francisco Giants, who now lead the NL West, after catching the Colorado Rockies.
The city of San Francisco has already been struck with drama this season. On opening day, Bryan Stow was leaving Dodgers Stadium when he was attacked by two Dodgers' fans. Posey's injury just makes the World Series Champs' more stressed.
The 24 year old, and reigning NL Rookie Of the Year collided at the plate with the Marlins' Center Fielder, Scott Cousins in extra innings.
After getting called up midway through the 2010 season, Posey made an immediate impact for the Giants, and this year was batting cleanup. Posey is one of the few catchers in the MLB today, who not only stops balls behind the plate, but can provide some offense for his team.
An emotional Cousins said "The last thing I wanted to do was break the guy's leg". Obviously he feels sorry for knocking out one of the MLB's best catchers.
Today in the first game since Posey's injury, the Giants fell to the Marlins 1-0, as backup catcher Eli Whiteside went hitless. The Giants left five runners on base during the game, and could have used Posey for those situations.
Posey's injury brings up a huge problem in the MLB, player's safety. Although baseball is not a contact sport like Hockey and Football, the players are under equipped with pads. Catcher's have to make be able to embrace themselves for a collision, while still getting position, and catching the ball in order to get the runner out.
Also pitchers these days are just throwing harder, and batters are left almost defenseless if these high 90 MPH balls come their way. Batters are really only required to where helmets, but many opt to where protective cups, elbow guards, and shin guards when batting. To be honest though, if a player gets clocked by a high speed pitch, Is a helmet really gonna save them from an injury. Of course it helps to have a helmet, but still players are still getting concussions, and other injuries with the equipment.
The MLB definitely needs to upgrade the safety requirements like the NFL has done. Some say the NFL has been a little too extreme, but in reality with all these retired NFL players having post concussion syndrome and even killing themselves like Dave Duerson it is not worth it.
Although it is good news that Posey should be returning this season, better equipment and some rule modifying in the MLB could have prevented this incident.