Last year's season-ending injury to Buster Posey started a long debate about catcher collisions and whether they should be legislated out of the game. One of the biggest arguments of the "no" camp was that it makes for one of baseball's most exciting plays and that a catastrophic injury is the exception to the rule, assertions I wholeheartedly agreed with.
Exhibit A for all future debates: Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro holding on to the ball after being drilled by Mat Gamel in a 6-5 loss to Milwaukee on Monday. Though Gamel probably didn't need to go into linebacker mode — a feet-first slide might have scored a run — Castro's fortitude ended the sixth inning and provided the best highlight of the night.
Watch what happens as Carlos Lee made a great catch of a Rickie Weeks pop-up in foul territory and then wheels around to make a nice throw home:
"I've been hit before but that's probably the hardest I've ever been hit," Castro told the Houston Chronicle afterward. "I actually feel alright."
That's not to say that Astros fans didn't hold their breath until Castro showed he was OK. The catcher actually also missed all of the 2011 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. But that was an injury he sustained not while playing defense behind the dish but by simply running to first base during a spring training contest. If an injury is going to happen, it will happen, no matter the situation or location.
Until then, I'll enjoy all the spots where two determined sides are fighting for every valued inch of the basepaths. That's really the essence of the game and it can make for some of baseball's greatest highlights.
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