It was just a Giants game like any other, with the team’s impotent offense on full display. Until it wasn’t.
By now you’ve watched the replays 247 times, read every national pundit’s take on who was right, who was wrong, who’s a wussy and who’s not. Your fingers are probably aching from furious keystrokes after being embroiled in a half dozen social media debates.
Maybe you’ve torn your Buster Posey poster down, for a coward will not adorn the walls of your cubicle. Or perhaps you’ve reached out to him on Twitter, applauding him for abstaining from battle, like the level-headed, positive role model you always knew he was.
By now you’ve taken up your side, and you’re more than likely sticking to it. It probably sounds something like this: “Harper’s an a**, I loved every minute” or “Strickland’s a salty bum, what a crybaby”. Right?
I’m not here to cast blame, nor am I here to say who was justified and who was not. Plenty of others have already contributed to that portion of the discussion. What I am here to say, is those criticizing Buster Posey for not coming to Strickland’s aid are surely barking up the wrong tree.
We all have that one friend who has a few too many at the bar, and starts going on about what grinds his or her gears, who’s pissing them off, and who deserves a straight right to the jaw. And with that friend comes your other friend, trying to deescalate, “Calm down bud, he ain’t hurtin’ nobody”. But they keep insisting, keep glaring across the bar at that one guy who “keeps lookin’ at me funny, somebody should teach him a lesson.” Maybe some words are exchanged, and the bartender comes over to peacemaker friend, and let’s him know that maybe it’s time for aggressor friend to get an Uber.
But when peacemaker friend looks up, aggressor friend has already walked to the other side of the bar and shoved someone in the chest. It’s on now, and aggressor friend is getting what he was looking for. Patrons and bouncers step in and separate the combatants, and escort them outside. Peacemaker friend shakes his head, but he saw it coming. He’s not going to hold it against aggressor friend, because aggressor friend is, well, kind of aggressive in general. But it was not peacemaker friend’s battle, nor was it his responsibility to get involved.
Now, there are those who live by the code of always stand up for your friends, regardless of the situation or circumstances. And while they may feel that keeps their band of brotherhood intact, it’s probably also roped them into situations that weren’t good for them, and weren’t of their doing.
Buster Posey is not an enforcer, he’s the captain. He’s the guy that has to see beyond personal squabbles, and what he sees is a team that was supposed to compete for the playoffs sitting 11 games out of first place, fighting to escape the quick sand they now find themselves waist deep in. His concern is winning, not getting even, and you have to believe he was frustrated that even for just a brief moment, with two outs and nobody on base, Hunter Strickland decided it was time to settle the score.
And now, even though he didn’t join the fracas, peacemaker friend is going to have to watch his back the next time he sits down at that bar.