Buster Posey is Derek Jeter. And that is the highest praise.
Like Jeter, Posey does magic things, makes magic plays, makes magic throws, hits magic home runs — does things you barely can imagine, and he does them exactly when they matter most.
Like Jeter, he is the leader of his team — unquestioned leader. And that does not mean making speeches. It means playing with conviction and boldness, and showing his own team and the whole league what a “real” player is. He exemplifies “San Francisco Giant.”
Like Jeter, he has a pleasant, calm demeanor. He never says anything controversial. He is polite and professional, and he projects gentleman and sportsman, ideals our country admires even though many athletes — most? — no longer aspire to those ideals or even know they exist.
And one other thing: Like Derek Jeter, Buster Posey is one hell of a baseball player.
He got almost all the first-place votes for National League MVP, 27 of 32, and, frankly, he should have won unanimously. What season did the other voters watch?
He is what a Most Valuable Player is supposed to be. When Melky Cabrera got banished for being a cheater, the Giants seemed in dire straits. They had lost the MVP of the All-Star Game and they had no power hitters and their pitchers were — to use a Bruce Bochyism — “scuffling.” And you figured they would slide down the standings and miss the playoffs — although they would have had some good excuses.
Forget that. Posey went on fire and carried the Giants to the postseason. An MVP is a carrier, a man who carries the team, makes it better. Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were carriers. Posey is a carrier.
If you were starting a big-league team from scratch — starting one today — you would begin with Posey, who is only 25 and will play for another decade. There is no better choice.