Scott Cousins is a reserve outfielder for the Florida Marlins who’s hitting something under the Mendoza line—or, as we baseball folks say, he’s still on the Interstate. In other words, in Major League Baseball he’s no big deal.
Buster Posey is the cleanup hitter, starting catcher, and reigning rookie of the year for the San Francisco Giants. In other words, he’s the franchise. He’s a very big deal.
So, when Cousins elected to take out Posey in an unnecessary home plate collision (unnecessary because Cousin’s path to the plate was clear), No Big Deal ended the season of Very Big Deal. With a broken leg and torn ligaments.
A rule change to prevent this sort of unnecessary contact has been proposed—Simply require base runners to slide into home like they’re required to slide into every other base where contact might be expected. Fine. Frankly, I’m not on the “change the rules” bandwagon.
What Cousins did is a maneuver that’s specifically intended to injure the opposing player. Not illegal, but very dirty baseball.
Here’s the deal: Cousins will not likely play against the Giants the next time the Marlins and the Giants meet. We know with certainty that Posey won’t. But there has to be a cost to the Marlins for using the tactic they used. The next time the Giants and the Marlins meet, the Giants should instruct their pitcher to throw his best fastball directly at the face of the Marlin’s cleanup hitter. With the intent of ending that player’s season.
It’s not revenge that is necessary here. It’s the reckoning.