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Adding Insult to Injury

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I recently listened to a February podcast of CBS’s Baseball Prospectus, hosted by Joel Hendon. He and Scott White spent ten minutes breaking down the catcher position.

“My general attitude toward catchers,” said White, is…“because they lose the {chance} every other position across the diamond gets to rest their knees and stuff…that….they probably won’t give you good stats…”

I was a bit stunned by this generalization. The fact that catchers have to be “on” without pause during a game, that their bodies take more unrelenting punishment than any other players’, is one of the reasons I admire them to begin with. These guys deserve praise, not doubt.

Hendon and White went on to discuss individual catchers. I waited.

White declared Joe Mauer the best in MLB, “far ahead of every other catcher.“ I waited.

After assessing two or three more guys, White got around to Posada. I held my breath.

“Great as he was last year—he had one of the best seasons of his career,” White began, “it raises a red flag.” Huh? I waited, breath held.

White continued: “At 38 a catcher shouldn’t be able to do that.” Double huh?

Just what is the implication here? What’s this “red flag” business? I hope White isn’t implying that Jorge Posada, one of the most respectable players in Major League Baseball, did something illegal to keep himself up to speed. Maybe White’s just talking about the “red flag” of superstition, so common in the game, but even that is offensive. Posada is one of those players/people who’s able to use his long years of experience to improve his game. He’s always produced well for the Yankees, whether squatting or holding the bat—and for this some talking head suspects him of god-only-knows-what!?

The whole “analysis” was a case of literally adding insult to injury: not only does the catching position injure catchers, they’re now being called  inferior players as a result.

White concluded his pontifications by saying the Yankees ought to be worried about Jorge, and predicted he’ll have a bad season. Thankyouverymuch, Mr. White, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on that.

Baseball fans: If you believe in Jorge Posada, when next you see him squatting behind the plate or poised with a bat in his hand, Clap Your Hands.

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2 responses »

  1. I totally agree with you. Imagine having to squat down like that for an entire game and having to catch all those pitches coming at you.

  2. I sure couldn’t do it!

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