Buster Posey Wins NL MVP
|Wasn't long ago the 2012 NL MVP was a clean-cut kid fresh out of the minors.|
Buster Posey, Buster Posey, Buster Posey.
In fewer than 400 total games, he's treated a half-century of torture like a Mat Latos sinker.
During the World Series, loads of Giants fans -- grown men and women -- would look away, out the window or into their drink, when Fox or TBS showed a replay of that infamous home plate collision from May 2011, the one that knocked Posey out of the lineup for the rest of the season. People looked legitimately sick just thinking about it. Like they would have eagerly picked up a rusty saw, chopped off their lower leg, then hopped as fast as possible to AT&T Park, if they had only thought of the idea at the time.
If Tim Lincecum represents the eccentric, long-haired, fun-loving, weed-smoking, laid-back-in-a-beanie side of San Francisco, Buster Posey stands as the city's bleeding heart, love-your-bother, thank-you-ma'am, in-this-together humanity.
There's 50-50 chance this comparison is bullshit. But it's the kind of stuff we have to start thinking about. Legacies are forming. This Giants team will be forever etched in baseball history -- certainly a lock for a 15-minute segment on Ken Burns' next addition to his Baseball documentary series. And Posey is the heart of that squad, the man who swooped into San Francisco carrying top-draft-pick expectations and went on to win two championships before turning 26.
Rookie of the Year his first year. And, so that the injury in his second season wouldn't be in vain, he took home this year's Comeback Player of the Year award. Posey is the first Giant to win MVP since Barry Bonds in 2004, which is fitting since he can scrub up the franchise's history the way he scrubbed up the Giants' season after Melky Cabrera got busted for steroids, even winning the batting title that had seemed destined for the fallen left fielder.
He had his struggles in the playoffs, but no one will remember that. Instead, people will remember him gunning down Brandon Philips at third base in game three of the NLDS, and then gunning down Jay Bruce in game five to push the Giants an inning closer to series victory.
They'll remember The Grand Slam, the way it popped off the bat, and the way the Reds catcher turned away in disgust. They'll remember the crucial Prince Fielder tag in game two of the World Series, and that hooking, against-the-wind home run in game four. And, of course, that final image: Posey framing Sergio Romo's pitch before leaping into the air, arms extended, sprinting to the mound, smiling wide, finally breaking out of his game-day stoicism to enjoy the moment with all the rest of us.