Tag:Buster Posey
Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 10:00 pm

Giants could turn to Sandoval behind the plate

Pablo SandovalBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants may not have to add a player to add a catcher. Manager Bruce Bochy told reporters before Friday's game with the Reds that the team may use Pablo Sandoval to catch when he returns from a broken hamate bone.

"It's not something we've ruled out, and we may discuss it further," Bochy told reporters, including Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News. "But for right now, the plan is to play him at third base for the most part."

The Giants will also use Sandoval at first base, especially next week in interleague play, allowing Aubrey Huff to DH and Miguel Tejada to play third.

Bochy said Sandoval wouldn't be an everyday starter behind the plate but could play there a couple of times a week.

Sandoval came through the minor leagues as a catcher but has only started 12 games in the big leagues behind the plate -- nine of those coming in his rookie season of 2008. He didn't catch at all last season and has only played third base this season.

However, Sandoval's improved conditioning could allow him to be more versatile. He was hitting .313/.374/.530 when he broke his hand in late April. He has had a home run and six RBI in three games in the minor leagues during his rehab and is expected to join the Giants next week.

Bochy said he didn't think it would take long for Sandoval to adjust to catching again.

"He's played catcher, and once you get back there a game or two, you get your feel of it back," Bochy said. 

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 7:20 pm

Posey hoping to move on from collision

By C. Trent Rosecrans

And here I thought I had my last Buster Posey update of the day -- the Giants catcher released a statement on Saturday and here it is:

"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."

Maybe the Giants should make sure they drop one of those releases off in the general manager's suite.

Finally, though, someone is making sense. For the most rational, mature and common-sense response to the entire ordeal, listen to Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt. Speaking to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Affeldt had plenty to say, including this:

"(Posey's) soing to be back. I talked to Buster. He's going to heal up. He's going to come back. It's not like he's never going to play again. It's not like Cousins killed him. It's a frustrating deal. It is. We're not going to act like this if Buster had Tommy John (surgery) and can't play for us. It would've been the same blow. We move on. We need to focus on supporting the team that we do have." 
Affeldt also had things to say about Brian Sabean, Cousins and Logran Morrison -- and it's all worth a read. Kudos to Affeldt for his level-headed response.

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 1:45 pm

Torre: Rule change on collisions unlikely

By C. Trent Rosecrans

So, I guess it's about time for the day's Buster Posey update -- I'll resist a "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" joke -- and this one is from Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations.

Joe TorreTorre, a former catcher, says it's unlikely baseball will change any of its rules as a result of Posey's injury.

"I think it's safe to say that I don't anticipate any changes, but I'm willing to listen," Torre told MLB.com.

Torre said he's talked to Giants general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy about the play on May 25.

Torre said he didn't see anything dirty about the play and didn't believe Scott Cousins was trying to hurt Posey.

"I spoke to Brian Sabean [Friday] and Bochy [Thursday], and I told them I'd be willing to sit with them and whoever they want to invite to discuss it," Torre said. "I told them that I didn't see anything that had to be changed, but I certainly would be open to listening to them. I think they just what discussion."

Another former catcher spoke up on the play, as perhaps the best catcher ever, Johnny Bench, told the Tulsa World that Posey "put himself in such a bad position" on the play.

"I teach my kids to stay away from the plate when you don't have the ball so the runner actually sees home plate and his thought is, 'slide,'" Bench told the newspaper. "But Buster is laying in front of home plate, and it's like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-leaf highway. You're just going to get smacked. Show them the plate. You can always catch the ball and step, or step and catch the ball, as long as you've got the runner on the ground. And if you have the runner on the ground, there's less of a chance of any severe collision."

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 9:18 pm

Marlins' Morrison: Lost respect for Sabean, Posey


By Evan Brunell

Quite the rivalry is brewing between the Marlins and Giants, and Logan Morrison just took it a step further.

The Marlins left fielder felt compelled to speak out about Giants GM Brian Sabean's inflammatory comments in which he said that he wouldn't miss Cousins at all if he never played in the majors again. Cousins, of course, was the player to smash into Buster Posey, breaking Posey's leg and ending his season. Many are divided on whether the play was clean or dirty.

"That's immature," Morrison told MLB.com of Sabean's comments. "That's childish."

Posey Injury

"I hope [Sabean] apologizes, because what he said was wildly inappropriate and wildly unprofessional, and it really shows ignorance on his part," Morrison said. "Not to show compassion for a human being who is going through a hard time ... I guess he wouldn't know anything about. If it were me, and I was on his side, I'd reserve my comments until the death threats have subsided."

Cousins has reportedly received death threats. Although he feels the play was clean, he has attempted to reach out to Posey to apologize for the injury and says the play is still an "open wound" for him. The Giants, for their part, released a statement that said Sabean's comments were spoken out of frustration, and that the GM was reaching out to both Cousins and Marlins president Larry Beinfest.

Morrison came right out and said he had "animosity" toward Sabean and his comments, although he holds no grudges against the Giants. But he also has lost respect for Posey:

If it was me running, I would have put him in the third row of the stands. If he got hurt, I'm sorry. That's part of the game. I'd feel bad if he did get hurt. But I wouldn't have written a two-page letter like Cousins did. I wouldn't have tried to reach out to him like Cousins did, because I know it's part of the game. I wouldn't have felt half as bad as Cousins did. And for Posey not to write back to him or say anything to him, that's just immature and childish. I have no respect for him or respect for Sabean.

The 23-year-old had plenty more to say on the subject, and he doesn't think the rules should be altered for collisions at home plate that place both the runner and catcher in danger:

If he doesn't like the rules, be in a different game. These have been around for a hundred years. This game is this way because it doesn't make the changes that football does or like basketball does. It sticks with the same rules. For him to question the integrity of the game because it happens to him, and it happens to one of his best players, doesn't mean that it should ask for rules changes.

Here's the thing: It's the winning run of the game. Even if he did, and I'm not saying he did have a clear lane, but that lane was about to be shut off by Posey, who was coming back towards him to tag him.

You're watching it in slow motion replay. If I had a clean lane and had to slide, and I was out by sliding, I'm mad at myself for not running him over. It's within my rights to run him over and separate him from the ball.

Morrison added that several Giants players told him and other Marlins players that the play was clean.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 8:45 pm

Giants: Sabean's comments out of frustration

By Evan Brunell

The San Francisco Giants released a statement on GM Brian Sabean's harsh comments on a radio show Thursday, saying that Sabean was only speaking out of frustration and did not mean to vilify Cousins.

Really? All Sabean did was blame the outfielder for wrecking Buster Posey's career and say that he and the team would be happy if Cousins never played in the majors again and warn the Marlins outfielder that he should be careful the next time the two teams meet up. There's no wiggling out of Sabean's comments, but the Giants organization is certainly trying:
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.

The issue of catcher safety is a complicated one. There are a number of differing opinions around the circumstances of last week's collision and about what baseball should do to prevent serious injuries in the future. This issue goes far beyond last week's incident as there have been a number of recent collision-involved injuries.

We have been in contact with Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president for baseball operations, and have asked for a thorough examination of this issue for the health and safety of all players.

We intend to move beyond conversations about last week's incident and focus our attention on Buster's full recovery and on defending our World Series title.

How hard do you think Sabean's teeth gritted when he called Cousins?

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am

Pepper: Sabean over the top in his comments

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the chances of the Marlins, Brewers and Diamondbacks sticking around all season.

SABEAN OUT OF LINE: Buster Posey's injury is the story that just won't die -- and it flared up again on Thursday when Giants general manager Brian Sabean ripped Scott Cousins on a San Francisco radio station.

Sabean intimated there would be some sort of retaliation the next time the Giants saw the Marlins' Cousins. For a general manager to imply his team would be looking to hurt another player is irresponsible and reprehensible -- especially when Cousins played within the rules. You can bet Bud Selig will be making a call to Sabean and there will plenty of eyes on the Giants when they head to Florida Aug. 12-14.

Not only were Sabean's comments unprofessional, they're also hypocritical. Baseball Prospectus' Larry Granillo takes a look at Pablo Sandoval's similar play last season against the Pirates, and also a play from 2006 which was worse that happened to the Giants' Todd Greene, but caused no public outrage from Sabean.

Cousins' agent, Matt Sosnick, answered, saying his client has already gotten death threats, which probably won't be helped with Sabean flaming the fire. He also noted Cousins feels terrible about hurting Posey.

"The fact that Posey got hurt is terrible and everyone feels terribly about it," Sosnick told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. "No one feels worse, outside of Posey, than Scott did. But it's over. The play was within the rules; it was a fair, legitimate play. There’s no way Scott could know in the heat of the moment if there was a sliding lane of not.

"It was legal in baseball. He helped his team. The fact someone got injured on the play stinks.

"I understand Sabean is upset about it. Based on the fact that I know he’s a good guy, I am really hoping that he was speaking in the heat of the moment and out of emotion. Because if he wasn't, he took a bad situation and certainly made it a lot worse."

WEBB SHUT DOWN: Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb felt discomfort in his right shoulder in a bullpen session on Thursday and is being shut down. He has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will be shut down for a minimum of seven days. (MLB.com)

9 TEAMS VIOLATE DEBT RULES: We all knew the Dodgers and Mets were in financial trouble, but they're apparently not alone. According to a Los Angeles Times report, a total of nine of the 30 teams are in violation of the MLB debt service rules which limit team's debt levels to 10 times its annual earnings. The guilty teams are a mix of big and small market teams -- the Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Marlins, Phillies, Rangers and Nationals.

DRAFT BONANZA: While the Rays may have more picks than anyone else in next week's draft, the Diamondbacks have the most valuable picks. In one of the deepest drafts in years, Arizona has a chance to pick up two impact players, drafting No. 3 and No. 7 overall. (Arizona Republic)

Yankees' MISSED OPPORTUNITY: UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole may be the top pick (or at least in the top three) next week, but it won't be the first time he's drafted in the first round. The Yankees took him in 2008, but he decided to go to UCLA instead. (New York Daily News)

WRIGHT, WILPON OK: David Wright finally spoke to Mets owner (for now) Fred Wilpon and said "all is well." Wright is one of the players Wilpon criticized in a New Yorker article. (New York Post)

Things should continue to be good with Wright and Wilpon, because it's unlikely he's going anywhere. Earlier this week there were rumors Wright may be moved, but the New York Daily News reports Wright's option for 2013 is team-specific, meaning only the Mets could exercise it. Any other team would risk losing Wright to free agency following the 2012 season. Anyway, it doesn't make much sense to sell low on Wright right now anyway, so expect him to stay with the Mets.

JETER WATCH: Derek Jeter currently has 2,984 hits and he acknowledges he feels a bit of a "responsibility" to reach 3,000 at Yankee Stadium. At his current pace, he'd get hit 3,000 at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs on June 18. Oddly enough, another Yankee had a chance at a milestone at Wrigley Field recently -- Roger Clemens' third shot at his 300th win was at Wrigley Field in June, 2003, but he lost that game. He won in his next start -- at Yankee Stadium against the Cardinals. The Yankees have a 10-game homestead from June 7-16 before going to Chicago for three and Cincinnati for three, returning home on June 24. Selfishly, I'd love to see Jeter go for 3,000 in Cincinnati, just so I could see it in person. It'd be more fitting for him to get it in New York, though. (New York Daily News)

DISAPPOINTMENTS: What do Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Carpenter, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford have in common? Well, they're all rich. Besides that, they're also on SI.com's Joe Sheehan's All-Disappointment Team. I'd take all five of those guys in a heartbeat. They're a discappointment because they haven't lived up to their own high standards so far, all five have the ability to turn it around in a heartbeat.

GRITTY AND GUTTY: Sure, these gifts are a little too prized by old-timers and not prized enough by new-school thinkers. Whatever their worth, those kind of players are fun to watch -- and the Padres have one in Chris Denorfia. As a personal note, Denorfia is one of the really good guys in the game and I'm glad to see him doing well. (San Diego Tribune-Review)

HARPER SHINES, STRUGGLES: In one game, Bryce Harper showed exactly why he's too good for the South Atlantic League, but also not quite ready to be called up to the next level. In addition to a walk-off homer, Harper fell victim to the old fake-to-third-throw-to-first move and was also caught in a rundown. (Washington Post)

CURE FOR THE CURSE? The Cubs are 5-0 in throwback uniforms -- now if they'd just wear them all the time… (BleedCubbieBlue.com)

FOR THE SNEAKERHEADS: Move over Brian Wilson, Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has the coolest spikes on the planet. Guthrie has a pair of Air Jordan I spikes that are just plain awesome. (NikeBlog.com)

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:14 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:51 am

Sabean rips into Cousins for ending Posey's year


By Evan Brunell

Giants GM Brian Sabean hit the KNBR airwaves Wednesday and had choice words for Scott Cousins, who was responsible for ending Buster Posey's season, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

"If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy," Sabean said, calling Cousins' actions "malicious" and adding that he doesn't blame Posey for refusing to return Cousins' phone calls, as the Marlins outfielder has attempted to apologize. The 27-year-old barrelled into Posey on May 25, scoring the eventual winning run in the top of the 12th inning. Cousins had a fairly clear path to the plate, with Posey in front of the dish attempting to field a relay. Cousins chose to barrell into Posey rather than slide on the far end of the plate, causing a broken leg for the Giants' star player.

“In no way, shape or form was he blocking the plate,” Sabean said. “He was just reacting to the throw and trying to get back to make a tag. So [it’s] unfortunate. It’s one of those things that happens to your family. Until it happens to you and hits home, maybe it’s not as real what we’re going through.

Posey Injury
“If you listen to [Cousin's] comments after the fact, he pretty much decided -- and it was premeditated -- that, if he got a chance, he was going to blow up the catcher to dislodge the ball,” Sabean said. “And if you watch frame by frame from different angles, he does not take the path to the plate to try to score. He goes after Buster, right shoulder on right shoulder, and to me, that’s malicious.”

Aren't those words harsh?

“Well, no,” added Sabean, intimating that Cousins better be careful the next time Florida plays the Giants. “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 Marlins will host the Giants on August 12-14 in what will be the team's final matchup of the season. It's possible Cousins won't be around for that, however, as he's hitting .159/.245/.250 in 39 games and has generally been used as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

These are strong words by Sabean, but it's hard to blame him. Posey was a crucial part of the Giants' club, had led the team to a World Series victory last season and was in his second season of what appeared to be a promising career. Now, Posey may never catch again.

“That’s going to be up to Buster once he comes through this,” Sabean said of Posey's future as a catcher. “I know he wants to catch. I know this is a horrific experience for him. He’s in a lot of pain right now. It’s psychologically difficult for him to rationalize this, so that decision is way up the line. But he’s a warrior and if he wants to catch the position then I’m sure he’ll come to camp next spring as a catcher.”

If so, it's likely that Posey will stop blocking the plate the way he had been. His accident has caused many around the game to evaluate expectations of catchers. While no other position player or even pitcher is expected to put himself in harm's way like catchers, backstops have had to deal with the belief around baseball that catchers need to block the plate and absorb collisions to earn respect from players. Teams over the years have attempted to change this, and manager Bruce Bochy even told Posey not to block the plate in spring training, but all too often, it takes an unfortunate incident like this to spur change and shake up the macho culture that pervades sports.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 3:49 pm

NL All-Star balloting update: Cards lead way

By Matt Snyder

Major League Baseball has issued a press release with the first All-Star balloting update of the season, and the NL starting lineup would include three Cardinals if the voting ended right now. The leaders by position (including three outfielders, of course): Albert Pujols, Brandon Phillips, Placido Polanco, Troy Tulowitzki, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. (Full ballot update at MLB.com)

A few things immediately jump out:

- Jose Reyes is the most qualified candidate at shortstop, despite Tulowitzki's hot start. Reyes leads the NL in hits, doubles, triples and stolen bases and is hitting .335 with an .876 OPS. He doesn't even have half the votes Tulo does. Oh, and Jimmy Rollins (.265 with a .698 OPS) is second. At least Reyes is in third, but it's odd to see a player in New York so under-represented in the voting.

- The starter at first base has gotta be Joey Votto over Pujols. It's not even close this season. Votto is second, trailing by about 182,000 votes. Prince Fielder (third) and Ryan Howard (fourth) should also be ahead of Pujols. Remember, it's for the 2011 season.

- Speaking of which, Chase Utley is third in voting at second base.

- Dodgers outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have very strong cases in the outfield, and they check in at spots four and five in the voting, respectively. Still, who are you going to bump between Braun, Holliday and Berkman? Maybe we can petition to move Braun to third base in order to maximize the offense?

- The biggest snub appears to be Jay Bruce. The young Reds' slugger was been an absolute man-child in May and leads the NL in home runs, RBI and total bases. He's 12th place in votes for outfielders. Looks like Reds fans need to get over to MLB.com and support their team. Phillips leads at second because there aren't many good candidates, but Votto and Bruce should be starting and aren't yet in that position.

- Obviously, Posey can't start because of his season-ending injury and NL manager Bruce Bochy will name a replacement if Posey wins the voting. So the catcher voting -- at least as long as he's at the top -- is irrelevant.

Voting continues on MLB.com through June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be an update on AL voting Wednesday.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com