With everything that the Giants have been through this year, you would think the organization would know better. After all the tragedy and violence that has been associated with the black and orange during the 2011 season, inciting more anger would figure to be the farthest thing from their minds.
Yet, yesterday General Manager, Brian Sabean, took the microphone in an interview with San Francisco radio station KNRB and continued to stir the pot. When asked about the May 25th collision at home plate that ended All-Star Buster Posey's season, Sabean didn't hold back and wound up reversing roles with the man he's come to disdain.
"If I never hear from [Scott] Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy," he offered, citing the collision at home plate as "malicious."
Yet, Sabean still didn't stop there. He continued on, going as far as to infer that Cousins' hit on Posey was an attempt at finding some of the spotlight.
"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."
And with that one comment, Brian Sabean crossed the line and became the antagonist in this story.
It's understandable that he would be upset over losing the team's best player. Nobody is suggesting that he meet the situation with open arms and an "aww shucks," attitude. But when you insinuate retaliation, as he did with his comment about "long memory" he crossed into a territory that no General Manager should.
Athletes get hurt in sports. There are certainly some injuries that come from ill intentions, think of Mike Tyson's ear bite or Albert Haynesworth's head stomp. Cousins collision was certainly not one of them. He was attempting to score the go ahead run in the late innings and tried to jar the ball loose from Posey; an act that baseball players have been carrying out for generations.
Even if Sabean, other members of the Giants organization and Giants fans believe the collision could have been avoiding, perpetuating the image of Cousins as a villain is low class. This is a twenty-six year old man who is receiving death threats for an on-field incident.
He has offered an apology to Posey and has repeatedly appeared remorseful in interviews, yet Sabean will not let the issue rest. Cousins didn't viciously attack anybody, yet people are sending him letters threatening his life and he is forced to have MLB security on hand wherever he goes. It's a situation that has gotten out of control.
As the face of the Giants, it's Sabean job to quell the hostility of his fans, not exacerbate it. He needs to tell them that their disappointment and frustration is understandable, but their ill intentions towards Scott Cousins are not.
If anybody should understand this, it's Giants fans. In fact, it was only in April of this year that the Giants organization felt the horror of being on the other end of such violent intentions.
The baseball world was shocked when Brian Stow, a 42 year old Giants fan, was beaten by angry Dodgers supporters after a game at Dodger Stadium. The Santa Cruz native suffered a skull fracture and bruising to the frontal lobe that had doctors fearing he would have permanent memory loss.
And it was all a result of nothing more than him wearing the wrong colors into a stadium. Somebody saw him as a target for their frustration and events spiraled out of control.
So how can an organization that has seen such horrific consequences of misplaced hostility condone the same type of hostility? It's senseless and childish and Sabean should know better.