Last week, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey broke a bone in his lower left leg when he was hit by Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins at home plate. Posey was blocking the plate in the 12th inning as Cousins reached home, hoping to score the go-ahead run and earn a victory for his team. In the process, Posey suffered the aforementioned injury, which will likely keep him out of the remainder of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.
Posey’s agent, Jeff Berry of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), was quick to attack MLB rules that allow for such contact. Following Posey’s injury, Berry stated,
“You leave players way too vulnerable. I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey's injury]. It’s stupid. I don’t know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy [at the plate] is too exposed.
If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it’s a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It’s brutal. It’s borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball. I’m going to call Major League Baseball and put this on the radar. Because it’s just wrong.”
We should expect nothing less from someone who advocates on behalf of his clients. Furthermore, Berry is a former catcher himself, and knows well about the risk that catchers take by placing their body in front of a player coming full speed toward home plate. Berry caught at the University of North Carolina Charlotte before playing a year in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. He later earned a law degree at Oklahoma City University, which additionally helps with his ability to negotiate effectively. With Casey Close’s departure from CAA, Berry became one of the co-head’s of CAA’s large baseball division.