Johnny Bench Blames Posey's 'Bad Position' - NBC Bay Area

Johnny Bench Blames Posey's 'Bad Position'



    Everyone'sgot an opinionabout Buster Posey'sseason-ending injury.

    And, more than a week removed from the collision between Posey and the Marlins Scott Cousins, the national debate is still raging about the situation. (Brian Sabean probably isn't helping this cause, of course, despite the Giants recent statement.)

    But if there's one person who would have some pretty wise input on the Posey situation, it's Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who spent 17 seasons behind the plate with the Cincinnati Reds.

    However, Giants fans may not to be fond of what he had to say.

    When I heard about the injury, I was anxious to see how this happened," Bench told Barry Lewis of "Buster put himself in such a bad position. First of all, my catchers don't sit in front of home plate. They stand away from home plate and work back to the plate. But we (catchers) are just fair game. You've got a guy running around third base at 210 to 220 pounds with 3 percent body fat and with sprinter's speed.

    "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. 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."

    Now, I'm not quite as qualified as Bench to speak on the subject matter, but it sure doesn't seem like there's much Posey could have done to keep Cousins from launching into him.

    That being said, Bench does have a point when he notes that by showing the runner the plate, a catcher is much less likely to end up getting his clock cleaned.


    "Show them the plate," Bench said. "You can always catch the ball and step, or step and catch the ball, as long as you've got the runner on the ground. And if you have the runner on the ground, there's less chance of any severe collision."

    That's primarily because -- we hope -- baserunners don't want to take out the catcher.

    Of course, when someone like Cousins launches himself across the foul line in order to keep Posey from making a play, it becomes a little tougher to defend.

    But this is Johnny Freaking Bench talking about the subject of catching, and when he speaks, it's all but impossible not to listen.