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Posey makes mistake, fans are up in arms
May 15, 2014, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat Daily Journal

Buster Posey is scared. Buster Posey should no longer be catching. Buster Posey is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Buster Posey sucks.

That was the general gist of “the lunatic fringe,” AKA callers to KNBR radio host Marty Lurie, following the Giants’ 5-0 loss to Atlanta Tuesday night, during which Posey failed to tag out Jason Heyward on a play at the plate.

Lurie certainly fanned the flames by calling the play the turning point in the game and harping on that one play all post-game long, prodding callers to see things his way, never mind the fact the Giants’ hitters were being absolutely handcuffed by Atlanta starter Mike Minor. One run was going to be enough for the Braves Tuesday night, whether Posey made the play or not.

I always think I’m a pessimist when it comes to rooting for my teams, but I’m a ray of sunshine compared to KNBR callers Tuesday night.

Can’t a player simply have a bad game? Posey made a mistake. It wasn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last, yet fans have unreal expectations. Many fans believe Posey is the second coming of Josh Gibson, a player who can do no wrong. I’m surprised fans haven’t anointed him with a cutesy, animal nickname, like they tend to do with all their other favorite players.

And yet when he does make a mistake, those same fans are ready to ship him off to Fresno.

To paraphrase Sgt. Hulka in the 1980 classic movie “Stripes,” lighten up, Giants fans. Posey is fine. He is still one of the best catchers in the Big Leagues, despite one missed play in one of 162 games. He may eventually move to another position but, for the foreseeable future, he is the Giants’ backstop, so Giants fans will simply have to live with the “subpar” play of their starting catcher — who, by the way, is a two-time World Series champion and Most Valuable Player recipient.

Have Giants fans forgotten about that?

***

The proliferation of body armor on Major League Baseball players continue to grow — and it is extending beyond the batter’s box.

At first, it was a soccer-style shin guard on the lower part of the leg. That morphed into a catcher-style shin guard. What started as a simple pad to protect the elbow has evolved into a hockey-style arm and elbow guard.

Now there are mittens on the basepaths. Blame the Los Angeles Dodgers for this latest craze after a couple of their players had their hands/fingers stepped on or sprained diving back into bags. Someone designed what looks like mittens to prevent such injuries from happening.

You know what they remind me of? Newborn babies. Any new parent knows one of the biggest issues with babies is their tendency to scratch their faces with their tiny, razor-sharp fingernails. To prevent scratches from happening, parents will put tiny, little mittens on their baby’s hands to prevent the scratching.

Whatever happened to clutching a pair of batting gloves to prevent finger injuries from happening? The base-running mittens are just a bad look.

 ***

Former Menlo School wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr. has spent his entire playing career being compared to his Hall of Fame father, Jerry Rice.

Now, the younger Rice will get a chance to make a name for himself. It is being reported by the Baltimore Sun that Rice Jr. has received an invitation to try out with the Baltimore Ravens during rookie minicamp beginning Friday.

After a solid two varsity seasons at Menlo, Rice Jr.’s college career was not one to write home about. He walked on at UCLA and caught nine passes in three seasons. He transferred to UNLV for his final season of eligibility and caught 11 passes for 86 yards, with his lone collegiate touchdown coming in the Heart of Dallas Bowl game at the end of the 2013 season.

Rice Jr. has a long-shot chance of hooking on with the Ravens, but at least he has a shot and he can offer what a lot of fringe players do not — versatility. Rice Jr. was the ultimate Swiss Army knife in his two varsity seasons for the Knights, running, catching and even throwing the ball. In 2007 and 2008, Rice Jr. caught 45 balls for 707 yards and five touchdowns.

But he also rushed for average of 7.8 yards, gaining 425 yards and eight TDs on 56 carries. He was 9 for 12 passing for 108 yards and averaged 30 yards on kickoff returns.

Those are good numbers for a football player coming out of the Peninsula Athletic League, but a 4.68 40-yard dash time and a 5-8 frame does not bode well in the NFL. But all he needs to do is look south to Redwood City to see another undersized receiver who has made it big in the NFL — Woodside’s Julian Edelman, who recently signed a big contract with the New England Patriots.

Is Rice Jr. in Edelman’s league? Maybe. Maybe not. But much like Edelman, all Rice Jr. wants is a chance to prove himself. He now has that. Now it’s up to him to show the Ravens he has what it takes to make a NFL team.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.

 

 

Tags: posey, their, yards, players, player, prevent,


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