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OK, those of you who think Cousins was wrong, you don't know baseball or its rules. First, why don't we see this same type of play at second or third base? Because you must hold the bag. If you go passed the bag you can be tagged out. Not so at home plate. So guys don't "have to" slide at home. Guys don't have to slide into second or third either, but they run the risk of overrunning the bag and getting tagged out. Watch a play at second on a steal and throw from the catcher, is the man covering second base blocking the base, no. So why does a catcher do it at home? Well, because we're talking about a run being scored that's why. Bruce Bochy commented that he'd like to see the ruled changed, or whatever. What was he talking about? There already is a rule in place, but do the umpires enforce it? First, before that rule, let's talk about what could have been done on Posey's part... he could have NOT blocked the plate. He could have played it like a second or thirdbaseman. Stayed out of the way till he caught the ball, swiped his glove across the plate and tagged Cousins out - end of story, Posey's playing next day. Bochy could tell his catchers to do it that way, ala Benito Santiago. Here's another thing - Cousin's does that to Miguel Olivo, and Cousins is the one going to the hospital - it's happened already, twice. Back to Bochy and his rule change... want your catchers safe, don't have them block the plate. Cousins, and any baserunner for that matter, have the right to the base/plate. You wanna block it, that's the risk you take. OK, really for the rule now - THE RULE states that no fielder (or catcher) can block a bag/plate without the ball! Posey NEVER had the ball. He is not allowed, by rule, to block that plate. He blocked the plate BEFORE the ball reached him. He set up blocking the plate, and waited for the ball to get to him, illegal. He didn't catch the ball, which means he was blocking the plate illegally the entire time. Two years ago, a controversial play at the plate happened when Matt Holliday slid into home head first while the catcher blocked him out. Holliday got his faced all scuffed up. Initially, Holliday didn't reach the plate, but then finally tagged the plate almost simultaneously as the catcher brought the ball around and tagged him - home plate ump called him safe, lots of arguing ensued on ESPN, was Holliday really safe or not? Well, yes absolutely he was safe, and the umpire should have stated his case thusly, and all of baseball and ESPN would have just shut up. The RULE is you cannot block the plate without the ball! That catcher, and Posey, DID NOT HAVE THE BALL in their possession when they blocked out the baserunner from tagging the plate - illegal. The home plate ump should have made that call - they never do. If umps starting making that call, then you'd see Posey setting up to catch the ball somewhere out of the third baseline, not blocking the plate, getting the ball, and then coming over with maybe a swipe of the glove. When umpires start calling guys safe because baserunners are having to try to find alternative routes to the plate because catchers without the ball are blocking the plate, THEN Bochy will get what he wants. Albeit, from a rule that's already in place.
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May 28, 2011