Of all the early news coming from San Francisco Giants camp, Buster Posey being instructed to avoid any and all collisions at home plate probably ranks as the biggest.
The news, of course, is not surprising after Posey missed most of 2011 after his infamous run-in with the Marlins' Scott Cousins. But it's noteworthy in that Posey's migration to first base is not yet upon us (though the 24-year-old catcher acknowledges it's probably inevitable).
It also gives me a chance to do a bad Photoshop of Posey as a Spanish matador since every interaction will start with him coming out in front of the plate and fielding the ball before attempting to tag the runner trying to take the run behind him. The "swipe tag" strategy is nothing new, but it's going to add an interesting element to Giants games as the team sacrifices a few runs for a healthy backstop.
And, as Peter Gammons noted on Twitter on Tuesday morning, it's not as if Posey can't learn to make it work. Carlton Fisk famously adopted the swipe tag after blowing out his knee in 1974 and he rode it all the way into the Hall of Fame. (Not to mention a spot in one of my favorite highlights of all time when Fisk tagged both Bobby Meacham and Dale Berra out at home on the same play).
Giants manager Bruce Bochy says he's encouraging Posey to opt for the swipe tag whenever it's available. I'm guessing that pure instinct will prevent Posey from doing it 100 percent of the time, though it'll also be interesting to note if any other catchers follow his lead.
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