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After a home-plate collision ruined his 2011 season, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey hoped to be ready by the start of spring training this year. While he didn't quite make the soft deadline, he'll still be catching the first part of a game in early March.
Buster Posey confirms that the plan is to catch two innings tomorrow. #SFGiants— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) March 8, 2012
Posey has been doing catching and hitting drills for most of the spring. The only thing that he's been especially cautious with so for is baserunning, as he tried to slide for the first time since his injury earlier this week.
The Giants weren't very active in the offseason, loudly proclaiming that the return of Posey was akin to a major free-agent acquisition. Counting on the seamless return of a player who missed the previous season is always a risky strategy, but everyone can agree that the more spring at-bats Posey gets the better.
Scott Cousins ended Buster Posey's 2011 season in a terrible home-plate collision last spring, but Cousins didn't last much longer. Now he's trying to come back, just like Posey.
After suffering through a grim collision, a grim injury, and a grim rehab, catcher Buster Posey is back in action with the San Francisco Giants. He's looking forward to a full season of activity, and for the Giants' part, they're not particularly interested in having Posey go through the same thing all over again later on. Here's one way they're trying to make sure Posey doesn't get slammed again, from Henry Schulman:
It is not a hint, or a suggestion, or a plea, but a direct order: Manager Bruce Bochy has told catcher Buster Posey not to block the plate this season.
"I'll take this out of Buster's hands," Bochy said after Giants pitchers and catchers, including Posey, finished their first formal workout of spring training Sunday.
Here's the funny part, where "funny" isn't really the right word at all - Posey wasn't actually blocking the plate when he got drilled by Scott Cousins. It's Posey's understanding that Cousins went out of his way for the hit. But even if blocking the plate isn't how Posey got hurt in the first place, there's no denying that not blocking the plate will help him remain healthy.
What's tricky is that blocking the plate can be instinctive for a catcher. Posey and the Giants are going to have to work hard to overcome that. But that's why we have spring training. That's not the only reason why we have spring training, but it's one of them.
Two days after Giants GM Brian Sabean caused a stir with his comments concerning Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins, and a day after Logan Morrison ripped Buster Posey for not taking Cousins's phone call, Posey released a statement of his own:
I appreciate the continued support of Giants fans and others as I begin the process of working my way back. But in no way do I condone threats of any kind against Scott Cousins or his family.
As I said last week, I'm not out to vilify Scott. I appreciate that he made the effort to reach out to me on the night of the play, but I was in no physical condition to talk to anyone. I have not been back with the team since that night, so I haven't even been aware of any other messages he's left for me. We all need to move on, so it isn't necessary to have a conversation with him at this point.
My only focus right now is looking forward, getting healthy and returning to catching for the Giants.
Now that this statement, which basically translates to, "Look, I just don't want to talk to the guy," has been released, I'm sure that this is the last time we'll ever hear about this story.
This is a very emotional time for the Giants organization and our fans. We lost for the season one of our best players to a serious injury and we are doing everything we can to support Buster Posey through this very difficult time. We appreciate Scott Cousins’ outreach to Buster Posey and to the Giants organization.
Brian Sabean’s comments yesterday were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins. Brian has been in contact with Florida Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest to clarify his comments and to assure him that there is no ill-will toward the player. He has also reached out to Scott Cousins directly.
Taking that in chunks, and translating through Google Translation's press-release-to-English option ...
Brian Sabean’s comments yesterday were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins.
"Brian Sabean's comments yesterday were said out of a belief that no one would really listen or care other than the partisan fans he thought he was addressing on a local radio show."
Brian has been in contact with Florida Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest to clarify his comments and to assure him that there is no ill-will toward the player.
"Brian has left a message to Florida Marlins GM Larry Beinfest asking if Wes Helms is available, and if he can play shortstop."
He has also reached out to Scott Cousins directly.
"He reached out to grab Scott Cousins and put him in a choke hold, but the attempt was unsuccessful because Cousins is a professional athlete, and Sabean is totally psyched about getting his AARP membership card next month."
Now that Sabean has apologized through a proxy, I'm sure this is totally the last time we'll hear about this story.
How two storied National League ball clubs came to hate one another, and how that hatred affected each of their futures.
Remember when San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey was hurt last week? There was consternation and grief, mostly because Posey is like James Dean crossed with Mahatma Gandhi, and the world is a better place with him in it. But the story sort of faded away. There was talk about rule changes, Posey was declared out for the year, and for the most part, the baseball world went back to whatever it was doing before the home-plate collision.
Not so fast! Brian Sabean is still a little upset at Florida Marlins utility player Scott Cousins, and after careful consideration, he decided to unload both barrels of the ol' Sabean mouth cannon during an interview with KNBR 680 in San Francisco, portions of which were transcribed by Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News:
"If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy."
Oh. I thought the consensus was that Cousins was just playing the way a 25th-man needs to play if he wants to keep his job. Apparently, if the play affects how you'll be evaluated as a general manager at the end of the season, though, you'll feel a wee bit differently.
"He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. Believe me, we’ve talked to (former catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it: There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be."
The Giants will play the Marlins in a three-game series starting on August 12, in case you were wondering. The angry words from Sabean are sure to whip Marlins fan everywhere into a frenzy.
After the San Francisco Giants announced that catcher Buster Posey had undergone successful surgery to repair the ligaments in his ankle, Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner confirmed what many had suspected. From Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News:
He's not going to be back this season, Dave Groeschner says, officially.
So if he's out for the season, how about 2012?
Opening day 2012 for Posey? "I would think so," Groeschner said. "I think it’s a good prognosis."
Posey had screws put into his ankle, and he'll be on crutches for the next two months, according to John Shea. After the screws are removed, he'll remain off the injured ankle for two more weeks. While he is on crutches, he is still expected to be the fastest catcher the Giants have had in years.
It's almost a cliche that a player has undergone successful surgery -- Kendry Morales had successful surgery on his ankle last year, for example -- but the Giants did get some good news that they were looking for. From Baggarly again:
Groeschner said the medical team was pleased that Posey’s fractured left fibia did not require a plate to be inserted; there was a thought that the insertion of the screws might worsen the slightly displaced fracture, which is expected to heal on its own.
So good news, tempered by the confirmation that Buster Posey's season is over, and that there are hopes, rather than guarantees, that he'll begin 2012 at full strength.
The Giants just announced the Buster Posey underwent successful surgery this morning to repair the torn ligaments in his left ankle. No timetable for recovery was given.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Larry Oloff, the Giants' podiatry specialist; Giants orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki and Dr. Mike Dillingham.
Just once I'd like to hear a team announce that there was unsuccessful surgery -- forceps left inside, a mid-surgery power outage, the wrong ankle was opened up ... something like that. Not with Posey, though. So this is certainly good news.
While the Giants aren't ruling out a late-season return for Posey, the young catcher seems to be a little more realistic:
Posey hesitantly acknowledged he is "highly likely" done for the season. .
The next step is rest and rehabilitation. Posey's sentimental teammates, in the spirit of solidarity, have pledged to match him extra-base hit for extra-base hit while he's on the disabled list. So touching.
While the San Francisco Giants try to figure out how they will deal with the devastating loss of Buster Posey, likely for the season, Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, wants MLB to change its rules regarding collisions at the plate:
He reached out to Major League Baseball and the players' association Thursday, ESPN reported. ... "It's stupid. I don't know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should."
This injury, to a popular player who is the centerpiece of his team, may lead to discussion of some sort of rule change to protect catchers, who put themselves at risk every time there's a close play at the plate.
Meanwhile, the Giants are left with backup Eli Whiteside and journeyman Chris Stewart (now with his fifth major league team) as their catching tandem, which led former Giant Bengie Molina to tell the San Jose Mercury-News' Andrew Baggarly that he's available if the Giants want him:
"Can I do it? Heck yeah, I can," said Molina, adding that he was on the verge on tears as he watched the play live on television from his home in Arizona. "You tell me to put a uni(form) on, I'll do it and be fine. But I don't know if that's the right idea. It takes time to get your body to go from workouts to being ready to catch and hit.
"If I get it in my mind to do this, I would go. If they need me and want me and they ask me to spend two weeks in the minors, I'd do it. Do I expect them to ask? I'd love to say yes, they will, but I don't think so because of the way things happened at the end."
What Molina is referring to is some comments he made after last season ended, when Giants GM Brian Sabean revealed that he had intended to trade him; Molina said of Sabean, "That tells you what kind of person he is. He should have kept his mouth shut. But that's all right. That's him."
So, Bengie remains at home, waiting for a call that likely won't come. The Giants are rumored to be interested in the Nationals' Ivan Rodriguez as Posey's replacement. Molina also told the Mercury-News that the Giants should move Posey to first or third base when he returns, because his bat is too valuable to the team.
After Buster Posey sustained what looked like a serious injury Wednesday night in a home plate collision, the first word on the severity Thursday morning was that Posey had a broken leg and torn ligaments. That was basically the worst-case scenario, but it was also an unofficial report, and we were all left waiting for the results of an MRI, scheduled for noon on Thursday. While x-rays showed a leg fracture, only the MRI could confirm whether or not Posey sustained ligament damage.
Now that the Giants' Thursday matinee is over, the results of Posey's MRI have been revealed. Or MRIs, as it were. According to Amy Gutierrez, Posey had three MRIs: one on his ankle, one on his lower leg, one on his knee. The exams showed a fractured fibula, and they also showed torn ligaments in the ankle.
Bochy says based on what he's been briefed on regarding Posey's MRI, he thinks Buster will be back this season.
Buster Posey is seriously injured, and he'll probably undergo ligament surgery, but he might return this year. Pretty incredible, all things considered.
Following Buster Posey's horrifying collision and consequent injury on Wednesday night, the first we heard on Thursday morning was that Posey had sustained a broken leg and torn ligaments. That was pretty much the worst-case scenario, and it seemed a foregone conclusion that Posey would miss the rest of the season.
#SFGiants roster moves: Posey placed on DL w/fracture to bone in lower left leg.
Just talked to Brian Sabean in clubhouse: "What's being reported is not factual. They probably got it half right."
So Posey definitely has a broken leg. That's bad. We do not, however, know anything about any ligaments, and we won't until after Posey has an MRI, which is scheduled for noon Thursday. It's possible that his injury is not as severe as it appeared just a few hours ago.
So we wait. Posey is definitely going to be out for an extended period of time. But we cannot say with certainty that he will won't return later in the season.
Wednesday night, Giants catcher Buster Posey sustained a traumatic injury in a home plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins. All of the focus so far has been on Posey and the Giants - how badly he's hurt, how emotionally devastating this is, and what this means for the team.
Whenever something like this happens on a field, though, there are always two sides - the doer and the victim. And while the latter commands the attention, it's worth remembering that the former usually doesn't have things too easy, either. Via Joe Capozzi, we learn about Scott Cousins' response to the incident:
Scott Cousins left 2 vm messages 4 buster Posey. Says he didn't sleep last night. "last thing I wanted 2 do was break guys leg"
A few years ago, I watched Vladimir Guerrero line a ball off of Rafael Soriano's head. Soriano immediately fell to the ground and rolled around in agony. The camera zoomed in on him while players and staff crowded around. Guerrero stood at first base, looking towards Soriano with grave concern. Knowing that you're responsible for a horrifying injury is an unthinkable burden on the conscience, and it's unlikely that Cousins will have any restful sleep until Posey does.
You might think Giants fans are devastated by the season-ending injury to Buster Posey. You might not know how devastated, though.
Giants fans might want to blame Scott Cousins for Buster Posey's devastating injury, but the real fault lies with Major League Baseball and the Players Association, which has done nothing to limit the sort of violence we saw Wednesday night.
The first words (we've seen) about Buster Posey's injury -- suffered late last night in a terrible home-plate collision -- from Giants in-game reporter Amy Gutierrez:
Unofficial update: #sfgiants Chris Stewart and Brandon Belt called up. Ford to D.L. Posey has broken leg and torn ligaments.
This is essentially as terrible as terrible news gets. Without more details, we can't know how long Posey will be out, but "broken leg" and "torn ligaments" usually mean surgery (or surgeries) and a long recovery process. Last August, Indians catcher Carlos Santana suffered a similar injury and missed the last two months of the season, but two months seems far too low for an estimate of the time Posey will miss. At the moment, it's probably best to assume that Posey will not play again this season.
Which obviously puts a big hole in the Giants' lineup. In the short term, at least, backup backstop Eli Whiteside will get most of the playing time, with 29-year-old Chris Stewart coming up from Triple-A Fresno to spell Whiteside. It won't be a surprise if the Giants look to the trade market for a catcher, though.
Meanwhile, Brandon Belt has fared well in his first taste of AAA, and will now be expected to make up some of the offensive production lost in the absence of Posey.
In Wednesday night's game between the Giants and the Marlins, the Marlins had one out and runners on the corners in the top of the 12th when Emilio Bonifacio lifted a shallow fly ball to the outfield. Scott Cousins tagged up and scored on the play, but at home plate he collided with Giants catcher Buster Posey, who appeared to sustain a nasty injury.
Posey remained on the ground for quite some time, and couldn't put any weight on his left ankle as he was helped off the field. This is probably why.
Posey going for xrays. It's funereal in clubhouse.
Posey and Eli Whiteside are the only two catchers on the Giants' 40-man roster. Assuming that Posey has to miss some time, the Giants will be forced into some roster gymnastics. Chris Stewart is the regular backstop with AAA Fresno.
Posey has played in 45 of the Giants' 48 games, with a .284 average and four home runs. He's the second spectacular young catcher to be injured in a collision in less than a calendar year, after Cleveland's Carlos Santana suffered a serious knee injury last August.
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