I read WillieD’s supportive post re: Buster at the end of yesterday’s thread and I encourage all of you to do the same. A couple of points I quibbled with: 1) Buster better not complain, he’s gone on record many times TELLING the team he’s staying at catcher because that’s the position he wants to play. I’m not sure when players started telling the team where they were going to be playing, but whatever, that’s been Buster’s stance since he got to the big leagues and the Giants have regularly bent over to appease him. 2) Being second on this team in slugging and OPS is nothing to write home about. We need more power, plain and simple. The Giants have hit 45 HR’s this year at AT&T, the opposition has hit 59. That’s inherently unacceptable and regularly contributes to our losing ways. He very well could end up with his lowest seasonal HR total of his career (not counting the ankle season). Personally, I expect him to be able to hit at least 20 bombs each year and if he’s not going to do that, or even come close to that, our offense is going to basically be the baseball version of Sisyphus.
But having said all of that, I am certainly not above admitting when I am wrong. It’s actually a trait I wish more people on the blog and in real life would practice more often. The rest of Willie’s post resonated with me, especially the part about having your best player on the field doing the hardest job. And it’s impossible to argue against catcher being the hardest job. This is the line that got me: “What’s best for the team is something completely different—having the best guy possible for the job doing the toughest one on the field night in and night out.”
So my mind has been changed. You won’t hear me saying they should switch Buster from catcher to first base anymore. At least until he can’t physically do the job anymore. I would like to see him get a little more time at first base to avoid at least some of the dings. Belt could use a little time off, too, especially when he’s striking out 3 times a game and swinging and missing the ball by nearly a foot. But that’s a discussion for another time. 🙂