Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench told the Tulsa World that if Giants catcher Buster Posey had taken a different position instead of blocking home plate, his season-ending injury would have been avoided.
Posey broke his leg and tore three tendons in a collision at the plate with Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins on May 25. San Francisco Giants General Manager Brian Sabean blamed the injury on Cousins and said if the player never played another game we'll all be happy.
People in the baseball world appear to hold various positions on whether the play was clean. Cousins' upending of Posey followed baseball tradition of allowing a runner from third to run into a catcher in hopes the catcher drops the baseball. After the incident, Cousins received death threats, and Major League Baseball was asked to consider rules banning intentional collisions at the plate.
But Bench says the Posey was responsible for the way the play unfolded.
I teach my kids to stay away from the plate when you don't have the ball so the runner actually sees home plate and his thought is, slide, said Bench, who was an All-Star catcher with Cincinnati during the Big Red Machine era. But Buster is laying in front of home plate, and it's like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-lane highway. You're just going to get smacked.