Bochy still lobbying for catchers' protection

Bochy still lobbying for catchers' protection

Bochy still lobbying for catchers' protection
ST. LOUIS -- Spurred by last week's home-plate collision that sidelined Buster Posey for the season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy renewed his call for rules that would protect catchers from being mauled by baserunners.

Bochy said Wednesday that he unsuccessfully tried to reach Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's vice president of baseball operations, to discuss the matter. Bochy indicated that he won't let the matter rest until he speaks to Torre, whose responsibilities include rule enforcement.

Bochy proposed reserving an area around home plate where a catcher can situate himself without fear of being steamrollered by an incoming runner. He compared the situation to a punt returner in football being hit by a tackler after calling for a fair catch.

Last Wednesday, Posey moved in front of home plate to take a throw from Nate Schierholtz before Florida's Scott Cousins plowed into him. Posey sustained a fracture in his lower left leg and torn ankle ligaments that required surgery.

"We're close to somebody getting hit in the neck area and getting paralyzed," Bochy said. "These guys coming in hard, that's part of the game. I was a catcher. I've been hit. Believe me, I know that."

But, Bochy added, catchers have become too vulnerable, particularly since baserunners have become faster and stronger and can hit a defender with greater force than ever.

"It's time that we do tweak this a little bit and protect these guys," Bochy said.

Admitting the obvious -- that Posey's misfortune profoundly upset him -- Bochy added that he remained haunted by the memory of a 2003 collision in which his Padres catcher, Gary Bennett, was pulverized at home by Brian Jordan of the Dodgers, a former NFL defensive back.

"I thought [Bennett] was paralyzed," Bochy said.