View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2017



To Hell With The Posey Rule

Written by , Posted in General

Every time MLB makes a controversial change to a rule, there’s always a question of, ‘What happens if this happens in a playoff game?’

Well, guess what, the Posey Rule happened.  In a playoff game.  It’s probably happened before and I just haven’t noticed, because it hasn’t happened to us.  But now it has, and I’m pissed.

Does that call/replay review make a lick of difference in the game?  No.  The bullpen was busy letting runners get on base (and, as a side note, because I’m not really recapping the game here–there’s really nothing else to be done here except Joe Maddon putting himself on the mound and throwing strikes; NO ONE is getting it done),  which in part left us needing a hope and a prayer at a Schwarber outfield assist to stop that run scoring anyway.  And the offense stopped doing anything productive once Kershaw was lifted, but even before there wasn’t much being done aside from Albert Almora (who, again, was lifted as part of yet another double switch way too early–feel free to castigate Maddon for that one).

But, the fact is, there was a runner barrelling toward home, Schwarber got the ball in, the runner neglected to do the thing that scores you a run–touch the damn plate–and Contreras got him when he saw the umpire just staring at the plate still.

Until the replay.  Evidently, Willson moving his leg over to help him get the ball so he could MAKE a tag prevented the runner from getting to the plate.  Not the fact that he was sliding roughly 3 feet away from the damn thing, oh no.  It’s not like there wasn’t a gaping hole between Contreras’ legs that he could have gotten to the plate by (there was, and it was big enough for Jonathon Toews to knock three pucks through without any of them touching each other).  But, the ump in Chelsea, New York decided that he did A Bad Thing, and LA gets their fifth run.

Why the hell is this rule even a rule?  Pat and Ron were glowing about the play, and not in an overly homer-ish way–I’m sure they’d have been just as impressed if whoever LA’s catcher is did the same thing.  Even the TBS fools were a bit dumbfounded about the whole thing.  But, here’s why that rule exists:

Buster Posey got hurt.  The baby-faced, popular catcher got hurt.  The guy whose commercial where he’s acting like he’s gonna delivery a baby because ‘he wears a glove, your doctor wears a glove, it’s basically the same thing’ is replaying this year, despite San Francisco not making the postseason.

Does that rule exist if, say, Miguel Montero gets hurt?  Wellington Castillo?  Taylor Davis?  Koyie Hill? No.  It had to be Posey, or someone with the last name Molina, to drive that to happen.  Because otherwise, no one would give a damn.  You wouldn’t have bandwagon fans red in the face because THAT SHOULDN’T BE LEGAL, GUYS ARE GETTING HURT.  Guess what? Those guys get armor to begin with, okay?  They know they’re in a pretty tough spot on the field, and it carries injury risk.  They KNOW.  They’ve known FOR YEARS.  Getting rolled by a first baseman the size of a linebacker at the plate was part of the job description.  And one guy–ONE GUY–got hurt, so the rules have to change.

The rule is idiotic.  It only detracts from the game.  It’s hard to understand what exactly is legal or not.  And now, it’s popped up, against us, in the postseason.  Even if it didn’t cost us the game, it’s still infuriating that it was even something to be considered.  But, it seems we’re stuck with it.

  • Doc Raker

    The difference between blocking the plate and positioning yourself to catch the ball is certainly dubious. It is a silly rule. The rule should be the same for every base, not a special rule for home plate. Let them play!

  • Sherm

    I think Joe Maddon just recently found out about this crazy “new” double switch thingy, and he’s in LOVE with it! Every time he goes to the field, he has his scorecard in hand to make a double switch. During the game, he’s staring at the scorecard, to see who can be switched for in the very near future. It’s totally fun, because you not only get to replace one guy, but you get to replace TWO guys – and, ready for this? They take DIFFERENT places in the batting order! It’s so damn fun. Wait til the iPad hears about this!

    And now back to our regularly scheduled comment: there is a difference, at least in my mind, between setting up in the baseline, and having your foot in front of the plate. I travel a lot, so I’ll use this analogy, as I assume most of you have flown someplace at some time. Imagine a person standing in the aisle as you want to get to your seat. You cannot. They are in your way. They are blocking the aisle. Imagine that that are IN their row, but their foot happens to be partially out in the aisle. You step over it and go to your seat. Not blocking the aisle. If the idiot last night slides feet first AT the plate? His feet take Contreras’ foot out of the way, easily. He was sliding WAY outside in order to DO a hand slide. He didn’t even SEE where Contreras was set up.

    Aaron Rodgers got hurt today so I think tackling should be outlawed in football.

    • Eddie Von White

      I think Aaron Rodgers should stand for the National Anthem.

      • Bryzzo1744

        We need to sign Kapernick

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        You can sign the idiot, I want nothing to do with him.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Fire Joe Maddon

    • Michael S.

      What the hell else is he supposed to do? The bullpen is a crapshoot no matter what now, and constantly being asked to protect small run differentials (not just leads–keep DEFICITS small) or ties. Every. Friggin. Game. Aside from G5 against Washington the bats aren’t doing a damn thing. 2 pitchers are more productive at the plate than Baez has been…two who had been in the AL all their lives until they came to the Cubs. A lot of .1xx averages up and down the box score. The concept of taking a pitch must be in Portuguese.

      • Sherm

        Years ago – when asked his opinion of his team’s execution, Tommy LaSorda said “I’m in favor of it.” Joe Maddon must feel the same way. That said, he’s again not doing much, if anything, to make it better. Mix up the lineup a little. Move Bryant out of the two spot. Let Rizzo leadoff again. Anything. Rizzo is hitless since his respect tantrum. Respect comes in the form of line drives at that level.

        Remember Ian Happ? I don’t. He’d have been a much better candidate to start tonight instead of Heyward…but for whatever reason? He’s riding the pine.

        I don’t envy the job ahead for Theo. He’s got a TON of talent, and a TON of holes to fill. Somethings got to give and I don’t think the major league club will look much like it does now in two years.

      • Michael S.

        It feels like he’s trying to load up on defense because the pitching has been so questionable…which I get, to a point. But to keep trotting the same guys out there is getting maddening.

        Changing the batting order…just seems like the midseason, we’re slumping a bit gimmick to get guys going, when you can get a goofy headline out there to loosen things up. I don’t see it doing much in the middle of the NLCS.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Me and Doc talked about this yesterday. We need a true leadoff hitter, and we need a table setter in the 2 spot. I don’t like this 2-3-4 of Bryant-Rizzo-Contreras. Next year the lineup should be
        1. Almora CF
        2. Happ LF
        3. Bryant 3B
        4. Rizzo 1B
        5. Contreras C
        6. Russell SS
        7. Baez 2B
        8. Heyward RF
        9. Pitcher P

        As much as we love Schwarber, it’s time to trade him. Much like trading Soler last year, we still have too many outfielders. Backups should be Jay, Zobrist, another catcher, LaStella, and whatever you get off the scrap heap.

      • You know here’s what’s interesting. I actually don’t think there are “talent” holes to fill. This team, as constructed, should instill fear in its opponents. I really feel it is more a matter of mis-management and bad coaching. I don’t hate Maddon. This IS the Cubs organization, has been for years. Even last year. If you (not you personally, Sherm, I know you’ve done this) look back and give an HONEST assessment of this team even with all its talent, you have to admit they were lucky to win it all. And nothing has changed this year. They continue to have mad talent. But they never get any better in fundamentals, they don’t know how to take a pitch, they don’t know how to hit (or even try to hit) for the situation at hand, they ONLY win if they get lucky enough to clobber a few long balls off of bad pitching, and then you factor in the questionable lineup construction, position-hopping, double-switching, bullpen mis-use, even what cap’n realist mentioned the other day about the pitchers living and dying for the edge-strikes instead of pitching to average contact and letting your fielders work for you. Oops, except you can’t do that either because Almora is mostly in the bench while inferior defenders roam the outfield. Those are ALL management-related things. If they change up the players but keep the same philosophy, guess what? Those players will not live up to their talent any more than these players do. It’s a shame.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It really is. The regression of the players from last year is stupefying. Last year they were working the count and hitting for the situation. Lots of games last year where I knew they would come back when they were down 2-3 runs. Now as soon as Maddon goes to the pen, it’s over.

      • Sure, they struck out a lot, but they also worked counts and saw a lot of pitches. Taking walks, sliding directly into bases, seeing a lot of pitches, hitting home runs, making solid throws, throwing strikes, situational hitting, error-free defense, and fundamental baseball is what’s gone missing.

      • I agree here. The bullpen has sucked, that’s a given. But many of these games would have still been losses with a lights out bullpen, because you can’t win a game unless you score MORE runs than the other team. Novel concept I know.

  • Sherm

    Watch the end of this clip – you can go to the “almost” end. It’s Altuve scoring the winning run vs the Yankees. Watch where Sanchez sets up and the beautiful slide that Altuve executes going AROUND the catcher’s leg. Very little difference from the Contreras play.

    • Michael S.

      5 bucks says, if Sanchez gets that ball and comes around with a tag on Altuve, they don’t overturn the call. Why? Optics, and that rule is stupid and ambiguous. But they aren’t going to give the Astros a walk off win like that, and the vagueness of it gives them leeway to do whatever.

      • Sherm

        Right – plus an “overturn” needs to be very conclusive, and the Contreras play was anything but. So if any part of him touches the baseline, the runner is safe? Idiotic. Fact is that the Dodger runner made a poor slide. When all you have is the hand and a reach…and can’t reach – well, you’re out.

        And, inevitably, when that call goes against you, your entire team will not be able to hit a lick the following night.

      • Yes that is apparently the rule. Though that must mean we’ve had an overturned call the night before we face any pitcher that doesn’t shit the bed.

      • Bryzzo1744

        This. I watched the tape and he did the same thing Contreras did. You’re right if he catches the ball, Altuve is out by a mile