Holy smokes. Stop the presses. Get ESPN on the line. I actually agree with Jeff Passan for once in my life. His story is here on the whole Buster Posey, home plate collisions rules.

He makes the point that if it had been Giants backup catcher Eli Whiteside to have his ankle get crushed, everyone would say that sucks and move on. Fact fact fact. Just because it’s San Francisco’s golden boy who suffered this difficult injury and is lost for the season, that’s why people are flipping out over it. This is the typical over-reaction from Giants fans and other baseball people. Like this joke of an article by an “attorney and political consultant.”

The rule should not be changed. These plays are few and far between to merit a rule change. It’s a runner and a catcher making split-second decisions at home plate with the game on the line.

People argue that Posey missed the ball and never had it when he went for the tag of Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins. You think Cousins knew that? He’s running in full speed trying to score a run to win the game and sees Posey reach over at the last second for the tag. He is taught to run the catcher over and separate him from the ball to score that run. It’s part of the game, and it’s a clean play the whole way. Injuries are also a part of a game and this one is a tough one, but it should not be changing the competition and the way the game is played.

As Mike Krukow would say during a Giants broadcast: “Grab some pine, meat.”

World Series Game 4: Giants 4, Rangers 0
Giants rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner threw a brilliant performance to blank the Rangers 4-0 in Game 4 to move the Giants to one game from their first championship since moving to San Francisco.

If the Rangers were to show any momentum from winning Game 3 in front of their home fans, Bumgarner put a stop to that early. The rookie southpaw fired 8.0 shutout innings, limiting Texas to just three hits, two walks while striking out six batters. Closer Brian Wilson finished the job with a perfect ninth inning to give the Giants a 3-games-to-1 lead. Mitch Moreland, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young were the only ones to record a hit for Texas, all three hits being lousy singles.

The Giants, on the other hand, churned out eight hits including two long balls. Aubrey Huff opened the scoring with a two-run blast in the top of the third inning. Torres doubled in Renteria in the seventh inning for one of his three hits on the night, and rookie phenom Buster Posey hit his first home run of the World Series with a solo shot to center in the eighth inning. San Francisco chased Rangers starter Tommy Hunter from the game after just 4.0 innings, five hits and two runs.

The Giants will attempt to capture their first championship since 1954 tonight with Tim Lincecum taking the mound in Game 5 against Texas ace Cliff Lee in a rematch of Game 1. Here’s hoping for a better pitching duel than what we saw in Game 1, which saw a total of 18 runs when it was all said and done.

 

Let’s continue the minor league update and take a look at what’s going on down under in the minors.

Oh my goodness! That Strasburg kid can actually struggle in a game!
Stephen Strasburg took his first loss in Triple-A on Saturday, allowing three runs and a home run (oh no!) to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Yeah, get used to losing to the Yankees, kid. They just have a knack for ruining things even in the minors.

Posey hits the bay
The Buster Posey story has been buzzing this weekend in the bay area as the Giants number one prospect was called up this weekend and so far is 6-for-10 in his first two games. This all comes after he was hitting .349/.442/.552 in 47 games at Triple-A Fresno, but one quote stuck out to me. In the last issue of Baseball America, Giants GM Brian Sabean apparently didn’t think too much of Posey’s performance to date…

“Triple-A baseball isn’t very good. I’m going to tell you that right now. Especially from a pitching standpoint. Anybody who can pitch is in the big leagues.”

Well doesn’t that just give Posey and all of the guys at Triple-A trying to make a career for themselves a nice confidence boost? Sabean is not a stranger to bizarre moves (just take a look at some of his former trades), but holy crap what a vote of confidence in your guys. Basically, he’s saying everyone else down there in Triple-A is a load of garbage that can’t hit some long-time minor leaguer. Didn’t the Giants have Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum pitching in Triple-A for a decent amount of time before coming to the Majors? Sabean never ceases to amaze me.

Can the Rays pitching staff get better?
As if the Rays didn’t already have a freaking legit rotation, another one of their big prospect arms continues to roll in Triple-A. Jeremy Hellickson improved to 8-2 with a 2.49 ERA on Sunday for Triple-A Durham. His eight wins is tied for the most in all of the minor leagues. Not bad. Now where to put him? Unless there’s an injury to the Rays staff, Hellickson will probably be called up soon and thrown into the bullpen because those guys (Matt Garza, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, David Price, Wade Davis) are all tearing it up.

Prospect Hot Sheet
Baseball America takes a look at some of the top prospects that are hot or struggling this past week throughout the minors. Hellickson is currently 2 on the list and Rays prospect Tim Beckham seems to be turning it around after a horrible start to the season. It’s seriously amazing how the Rays still have super prospects coming up through the farm system. They really have a chance to be crazy good for years to come.

Announces retirement and then ends with a victory
A pretty cool and bittersweet story about Indians farm hand Mike Gosling announcing his retirement prior to the Columbus Clippers game on May 17 and then winning the game. Gosling decided to give up the dream and focus on other priorities like raising a family. It’s worth a read if you have time.