San Francisco Giants: GM Brian Sabean Rips Scott Cousins, but Needs to Move on

James Stewart-Meudt@@JSMeudtCorrespondent IIJune 3, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean looks on prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The fallout from the Collision Heard 'Round the World just won't go away.

Buster Posey had surgery on Sunday to repair the three torn ligaments in his ankle and the broken bone in his left leg suffered from a home plate collision with the Florida's Scott Cousins in San Francisco's 12-inning loss to the Marlins on May 25.

The play has become one of the most controversial of the season and opinions are all over the place.

Surprisingly, the majority of big league catchers have come out and supported Cousins, calling the play "clean."

Former players, such as catcher Mike Matheny, who finished his career with San Francisco, wouldn't call the play dirty, and doesn't support a rule change, but did believe Cousin's contact with Posey "unnecessary."

Giants' general manager Brian Sabean has an understandably more hard-lined opinion.

During a radio interview on KNBR of San Francisco yesterday, Sabean called the contact "malicious."

Let's be honest here for a moment.

If this isn't Buster Posey, if it isn't the face of the recent World Series champs, this play doesn't get a shred of attention from anyone. Posey is one of the fresh, young faces of baseball and he's important, not only to the Giants, but to the game as a whole.

It's tough to see him go down with such a terrible injury, but that's baseball.

Last season, another promising young catcher, Carlos Santana, had his season ended in a collision at home plate on August 2.

The Santana play was decidedly different, and much less violent, yet the result was the same.

Santana had his left leg broken when Red Sox rookie Ryan Kalish slid into him attempting to score in the seventh inning.

The injury was so hard to watch that Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he would never be able to bring himself to watch a replay.

Where were the discussions about introducing new rules to protect catchers then?

Presently, a runner cannot make contact with a catcher who does not have possession of the baseball. As Cousins chugged down the line, looking to score the go-ahead run, he had only a split second to decide that Posey did not have possession of the baseball before running into him.

It's impossible to make that kind of a decision with that much time and in that situation.

Cousin's job is to score the run; Posey's is to try and stop him.

One guy did his job, the other didn't.

"Why not be hard-nosed," Sabean told KNBR. "If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."

It's safe to assume only Sabean himself will be happy if Cousins never plays again. Well, maybe a few Giants fans as well.

If it had been Posey running over the Marlins catcher, John Buck, we can only wonder what Sabean's opinions would be. It's hard to imagine he'd be ripping into Posey.

And despite the fact that the Giants just watched their franchise player go down for the season, one would think that they wouldn't wish the same fate on anyone else.

Not so fast.

Asked if the Giants would look for revenge, Sabean didn't say they would, but made sure the Marlins knew his memory "long."

The Giants and Marlins don't meet again until August 12, so it will be interesting to see just how long Sabean's memory really is.

Again, Posey's injury is a huge blow to a team looking to successfully defend their World Series title.

Baseball needs young players like Posey to grow the game.

But injuries are going to happen. We can't go changing the game because of one player's injury, regardless of how important that player is to a particular team.

What does that tell the bench players, or the young prospects that don't quite make the impact Posey did last season?

"Sorry you got hurt, but you're not Buster Posey so we're not changing anything for you."

Does that sound right?

Sabean is understandably angry, but his anger his misdirected.

Don't hate Cousins for doing his job.

How about taking that passion and turning your attention towards to trade deadline? Add to the Giants, make them even stronger than they were with Posey, get back into the playoffs, and Sabean's greatest revenge can be making sure the Marlins have to watch from the couch as the Giants make the playoffs

Sabean wants revenge?

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and October is a pretty cold month.


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