On Buster Posey's 100 RBI

Harry How - Getty Images

Or is it 100 RBIs? Whatever.

I care about Buster Posey's 100 RBI. This goes against two of my core principles:

1. That round, base-10 numbers should not carry any special significance just because we have ten fingers, and just because the betailed ape carrying our shared DNA used those fingers to count.

2. That RBI are silly, anachronistic things, and that the people who pay attention to them smell of liniment and peppermint candies and typewriters.

But I can't help it. Those beliefs came late in life, decades after I was told 100 RBI good 100 RBI good 100 RBI good.

True story: Growing up, I had a metal George Foster garbage can in my room. This isn't a metaphor, I literally had a metal George Foster garbage can in my room. And the caption read ...

Up the middle, or just goodbye
Another Foster RBI

Every snot rag , every popsicle stick I threw out growing up went into that garbage can. And I'd have to look at a caricature of George Foster, in a Reds uniform, whomping an RBI. I don't know why I had a George Foster garbage can. Maybe they ran out of Frank Duffy garbage cans.

Point is, I still think it's cool. It's a round, shiny number. Posey is the first to do it since Barry Bonds. That wasn't quite the longest streak without a 100-RBI guy -- the Royals hadn't had one since Carlos Beltran in 2003 until Billy Butler did it this year -- but it was close.

There are some meaningful things about it, of course. It means the Giants had a strong offense around Posey. Angel Pagan has been super, Marco Scutaro has been a revelation, and Melky Cabrera was pretty swell for a while. If you put Posey on the 2006 Giants, he doesn't have 100 RBI.

It also means that Posey has been healthy (and productive enough) to accumulate such a counting stat. That's easy to take for granted. We should not take that for granted. Buster Posey was supposed to catch 100 games and be kinda sorta okay as he slowly recovered to be the player he was in 2010. He's been much, much better. It turns out that runs batted in have been involved, and with a nice, round number to boot.

I can dig that.

So I feel ashamed and a little embarrassed. But mostly proud. I don't care who knows it. I was rooting for Buster Posey to get to 100 RBI. RBIs. Whatever.

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