It's the devastating sort of news that can set a franchise back a year or three. And it's the ramifications that the San Francisco Giants are having to sort out now that they're going without franchise player and star catcher Buster Posey for the foreseeable future after suffering a broken leg and ligament damage that might take him out for the rest of the season. What does it look like when the dust settles? Ask the Washington Nationals who are in last place in the NL East as they sit through the entire year without last year's franchise player Stephen Strasburg.
The Giants are obviously in much better position to handle the loss of Posey than the Nats were in losing Strasburg. After all, the Giants just won the World Series on the strength of their starting pitching and a core of veteran hitters should be able to put up enough runs to make another run at the post-season. But that doesn't fully absorb the shock and blow of losing a player like Posey -- a young, talented player marked as much by poise and charisma as his actual playing abilities.
The same can be said of the Kansas City Royals and a guy like Eric Hosmer. Other prospects sit alongside Hosmer on various lists -- from Danny Duffy to Mike Montgomery, from Will Myers to Mike Moustakas. Yet it's Hosmer who was the first to arrive and immediately became a heart-of-the-order force at the major league level. He exudes a steady confidence and the ability to handle the pressure of being the pioneer of the mega-prospects. In short, he seems KC's version of a Buster Posey or Stephen Strasburg as the heralded rookie able to acclimate quickly to the ML level.
If the Royals were to lose a player like Hosmer for the season, most likely they would be down for the count. It's only late May so anything is still possible -- even for the Nationals or the Giants -- but it's quite clear that morale would immediately crash and the fans would believe even their future to be as cursed as their past. The Royals ticket sales would plummet and even the front office would be frustrated by the setback endured in Hosmer's development and contributions.
Losing a player like Posey or Strasburg doesn't just remove someone from a single position on the field or a slot in the rotation. Instead, it's the loss of hope in the franchise's future -- something that unites every single ballclub no matter how they are currently performing. After all, every spring training brings new hope from Seattle to Florida in the hopes that "this might be the year." Here's hoping that Posey gets back on the field earlier than expected, not only for the sake of Posey himself or the Giants but for the good of the fans as well.