Giants: Turn the Page and Worry About Winning

“If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another day in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy” were Giants GM Brian Sabean’s comments today on the play that shelved Buster Posey for the season.  He gave an interview today with “The Razor and Mr. T.” show on KNBR-680 AM, and he didn’t hold back at all with his opinions.

“[Cousins] chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, then that’s as good as it’s gonna get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. We’ve talked to [former catcher Mike] Matheny and how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive.”

Infield Chatter already sounded off on this, but we’re revisiting it today because of some harsh, and scornful comments made by the Giants top brass.  Let’s be clear; we love Buster, and we’re all saddened by his loss.  Losing Buster is in no way good for baseball.

With that said, the Cousins play wasn’t a dirty play, and he wasn’t out to hurt anybody.  It was the 12th inning, and he had a ball game to win.

Sorry Brian, but when a guy rounds third and sprints for home, he doesn’t have time to evaluate who the catcher is, what the situation is, whether it’s a clear path to home, whether Posey has the ball, whether his feet are under him, etc. etc.  There were a 100 things going on during that play, and enough things went wrong that Posey is now on the DL.  That’s all there is to it; call it bad luck, call it a kick in the groin, but whatever it is, it’s still baseball and every time you step between the lines that’s the risks you’re taking.

At the very back of Cousins’ mind, back behind his to-do list of projects around the house and whether he did the math correctly on the tip for his meal the night before – somewhere behind all of that was fame.  If you want to call out the incident as being dicey or calling attention to other issues – fine, that’s your prerogative.  But to suggest that Cousins chose to be a hero for a flash of fame is just ludicrous, and if anything it detracts from any argument of logical discussion the Giants have on this subject.

If the Giants want to solicit to change the rules, that’s their right; and according to the MLB article, that’s exactly what they want to communicate with Joe Torre about.

While the barrelling over of the catcher would be difficult to spell out clearly, I doubt it would make or break this glorious sport of baseball.  But with that said, why do we draw the line at Buster Posey?  Why can any other catcher get barrelled over and injured, but when it happens to a budding star finally it’s too much?   It would be as though 1000 pitchers got hit by a line drive, but if it happened to Stephen Stasburg, suddenly that’s inexcuseable and pitchers should be allowed to pitch from behind an L screen.

Buster Posey is only a second year player, but this may already define his legacy.  Does Buster Posey want to be remembered as the guy who couldn’t live with the current rules of baseball, and required a rules change in order to satisfy his career, or does Buster want to be that hard nosed player that accepts his fate, flips it off, and comes back with a vengeance.

It’s all fresh, and wounds are still open and gushing.  For Buster not to accept Cousins’ apology, I can accept that fact as a guy who may have had his career derailed and isn’t quite over it yet – and is also on a lot of high end medical narcotics just so he can survive the day.  But for the Giants top brass to come out with these comments, it’s doing less to encourage a change in baseball, and more to shed light on a situation of “our top guy got hurt, that isn’t fair at all!  Whaaa.”

Accept the injury, turn the page, and worry about winning.  Counter every question of “what do you think about the Posey play…” with “we’re looking ahead to the rest of the season and we’re evaluating what we need to in order to defend ourselves as the champions of baseball.”

Look ahead, don’t look back, and be positive instead of negative.  At the very least, assure people that your business is in order instead of whining about the monkey wrench that was thrust into your best laid plans.

It’s baseball, and it happens.  Don’t take it personal, Brian, just worry about repeating.  And Buster Posey has been written out of helping you for this season.

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This post was written by Philip Gardner who has written 206 posts on Infield Chatter.

21 Responses “Giants: Turn the Page and Worry About Winning”

  1. Daniel Stern June 3, 2011 12:56 pm #

    The Giants have been focused on winning- just went 4-3 on a ROAD trip through St. Louis & Milw. And this article was written after the winning road trip. Hmm…

  2. Phil June 3, 2011 1:19 pm #

    The giants are still trailing the D-Backs in the west, and it’ll take something more than dwelling on past injuries in order for them to take the division lead again. The team may be winning, but it isn’t a result of the comments Sabean was making about the injury.

    Whether or not they had success on the road trip, nothing good is going to come about from comments like that. The giants are making headlines for all the wrong reasons today, and the unanimous consensus on the comments is that he was flat out wrong with what he said and how he said it

    • Dub June 3, 2011 3:20 pm #

      Yeah not so much in 2nd place anymore

  3. Justin June 3, 2011 1:50 pm #

    @Phil don’t know when you last checked the standings, but it certainly wasn’t after the Giants finished their road trip.

    • Phil June 3, 2011 2:10 pm #

      Apolgies, i guess i checked them last night before the Giants took the half game lead in the divion

      The point is, making these comments has nothing to do with focusing on winning. It’s calling attention to old incidents, and it’s making Sabean look bad. I can post dozens of links to reputable sources who all think Sabean was out of line to talk like that.

      it’s not focusing on winning. Hoping for Cousins’ career to end will not unbreak Posey’s leg. Move on, win the division, and repeat.

      Between the Rockies and the D-Backs, the giants have plenty to worry about on the field.

  4. Daniel Stern June 3, 2011 2:27 pm #

    This will be my last reply in the thread, we can continue via email if need be. Sorry about twitter Phil, Twitter not proactive for long-debated conversations and not trying to fill your twitter feed just about us.

    The comments isolated are opinion, and opinions are usually derived from facts. Sabes as a whole is focused on winning (4-3 record, 3 moves since the injury) but his comments isolated are verbal diarrhea. They are ill advised but meant to protect his team. While looking back and antagonistic against Cousins, it has nothing to do with not focusing on winning. In fact, they won yesterday AFTER the comments, came from behind to beat the Cardinals.

  5. Daniel Stern June 3, 2011 2:27 pm #

    Phil, apologies again for taking up your twitter feed

  6. Gary June 3, 2011 2:32 pm #

    I disagree.
    Cousins had a clear line to the plate, without having to plow over Buster. It appears that he made up his mind to go into him about half way down. A real baseball player looks to see if he can score without contact, Cousins did not. He had decided that contact was needed and he did it with a ferocity that was unnecessary.
    These facts are undeniable -
    Buster was NOT blocking the plate, he was on the right side of it with the left side open.
    Cousins lowered his RIGHT shoulder and plowed it into Buster, having to go across the plate to do so.
    Besides Sabean, we have heard from Ray Fosse, Matheny, Bochy, all of whom decried the unneeded force that Cousins applied. And these guys know what they are talking about.
    Good for Brian Sabean. Cousins is a football player in a baseball uniform and his actions have no business in the game of baseball.

    • Phil June 3, 2011 2:46 pm #

      Gary, thanks for your comments, and whether the hit was clean, gray, or completely dirty has been a big topic of discussion all week long.

      While there is room for debate on that, i would strongly disagree with Sabean when he commented on the intent of Cousins. True, when cousins came around third he may have had it in mind to take out posey. He’s a young player without a ton of experience, and he probably saw “taking out the catcher” as the best means to “score safely” A more experienced player may have pulled off the hook slide, or whatever else could have been done, but Cousins was trying to score. That’s all it was.

      Cousins is 26 years old, and has 66 games of experience in parts of 2 seasons. Your comments about “A real baseball player looks to see if he can score without contact, ” may be partly true in that Cousins is not seasoned enough to make a fantastic call on that.

      Further to that point though, a real baseball player just tries to score and will do whatever it takes for the win. Cousins was not trying to be dirty, and i bet he feels downright horrible at the outcome of the play

  7. Phil June 3, 2011 2:41 pm #

    @ Daniel
    This article was posted regarding the comments Sabean made on the incident. For the past week, baseball has been abuzz with the play, and it’s been the biggest story still a week after it happened.

    Brian Sabean came out and made some spiteful comments. Implying that Cousins was looking for fame on the play is childish and stupid. Saying that everybody will be happier when Cousins is out of baseball is childish and stupid. These are the comments which led to the writing of this article.

    When you continue to rehash old wounds, and continue to talk about things in the past, that’s not putting it behind you and moving on. Come out, have your say, and move on and prepare for the next game. That’s what had been done during the week, and finally by last night the comments just went too far and too long.

    Regardless of the way the Giants have rallied since and had a successful road trip, and regardless of what moves Sabean made after the injury, the focus should be on winning, and continuing to win in the future. When you keep harping at week+ old news, that’s taking focus away from winning and putting it back into the past.

    When comments are made, rebuttals are made, and then opinions on the comments are made, and then rebuttals to those. After my article was posted on Bleacher Report, there were an additional 6 articles all commenting on the same thing. Until somebody lets the story die, the focus will not be on the winning, rather it will be on the Comments made back and forth.

    Stop the cycle, and put the focus back on winning. That’s what we were trying to say.

    Whether the Giants are winning or not is besides the issue that we discussed. Put the focus back on winning.

    Admittedly, perhaps MLB Trade Rumors made the best edit when they posted our article with the tagline of “the Giants should turn the page on Buster Posey’s injury and focus on winning.” Focus, not worry, but focus is what we really intended. Sometimes when you try to be the first to post a story, you don’t pick the perfect word

    Sorry if we were misunderstood, but we are not taking anything away from the giants players. Simply that we think they should move on and put the focus back on winning.

    Also, thank you for your heated discussion. We will never post articles sheerly for making people mad enough to come on and leave comments and boost hits. We pride ourselves in quality content, and we have a responsibility to syndicates like Bleacher Report to post quality work of our honest opinions.

  8. Daniel Stern June 3, 2011 2:52 pm #

    “Regardless of the way the Giants have rallied since and had a successful road trip, and regardless of what moves Sabean made after the injury, the focus should be on winning, and continuing to win in the future. When you keep harping at week+ old news, that’s taking focus away from winning and putting it back into the past.”

    “Sorry if we were misunderstood, but we are not taking anything away from the giants players. Simply that we think they should move on and put the focus back on winning.”

    But they are winning, that’s the point you even acknowledge. Sabean is always tight to the vest, notoriously tight if you’ve read “Moneyball.” So for him to rehash this means he NEEDED to say something (probably for the players on the field right?). Did he go to far about Cousins future? Yes, but why mention that Phil when your article is on worrying about winning. Sabean has been, “they” (aka the players) have been. Thats what we are all saying

  9. Will Dinsmore June 3, 2011 3:05 pm #

    Scott Cousins did not break any rules of baseball HOWEVER he chose to play it dirty and cheap in lieu of sliding down the lane provided by Posey. Posey was not blocking the plate just fielding a low throw and Cousins apparently felt it appropriate to go out of his way to deliver an indefensible shot to the catcher rather than sliding down the open lane. I do believe that Sabean went over the top a bit in his criticism of Cousins but he let all of his frustration out. I just heard an interview with Logan Morrison on MLB Radio and he was way over the top in the other direction. Shameful the way that Stern and Bowden sucked up to their boy LoMo.

  10. Dub June 3, 2011 3:27 pm #

    As a Giants fan, I honestly can’t say there was anything dirty about the play. I can’t even say it was unnecessary as they were trying to win the game.

    I don’t believe baseball should make a rule change but I do believe GM’s and Managers should emphasize the lack of importance of one regular season game. As well, publicly notifying fans as to why their catcher decided to apply a tag, rather than take a charge.

    To judge Sabean is completely fair but anyone who questions Posey’s personal feelings on the matter is off base. Bottom Line: Dude had a choice as he was tagging home but if you ask any ballplayer at that moment, the last thing they are thinking about is choices. Good Article

  11. Phil June 3, 2011 3:29 pm #

    Thanks for reading dub!

  12. JP June 3, 2011 3:48 pm #

    ” Does Buster Posey want to be remembered as the guy who couldn’t live with the current rules of baseball, and required a rules change in order to satisfy his career, or does Buster want to be that hard nosed player that accepts his fate, flips it off, and comes back with a vengeance”

    Thats just a plain asinine line right there.

    It will be up to MLB if there are any rule changes, not Posey. If they change ANY rule, they do so because they deem it a necessary action for the good of the game. And to say that it will be a commentary on Posey being unable to “live with the current rules” is ridiculous. Posey will live and be subject to any rule that MLB decides is necessary…Just as ANY other player.

    Do you think that Posey will retire because MLB does’nt change the rule.

    Ughhhh….I doubt it.

    Do the current rules regarding hits on QB’s in the NFL mean that Brady or Manning are not tough enough and cant take hits?

    No, they were changed because guys like Aikmen, Young and others kept getting concussions as a result of what the league eventually deemed as unnecessary and overly dangerous hits.

    And by golly! Tom & Peyton’s careers have benefitted from it and not many think any less of them.

    • Dave D June 4, 2011 9:42 am #

      I agree with the basic gist of Phil’s article. Yes the Giants do need to put this behind them and focus on having a good season, but I agree with JP on this point.

      Phil is way, way off base here, and for me it takes away from the main point of Phil’s scribe, which I basically agree with.

  13. Matt June 3, 2011 4:38 pm #

    Did you even see the play? You keep saying “when Cousins rounded third.” Cousins was, in fact, STANDING on third…the play was a sac fly to very shallow right field. The Marlins know Schierholtz’s arm, and with the shallowness of the fly ball, Cousins knew if he decided to run that he would be plowing into Posey. The throw beat him there by at least 10 feet, Posey just couldn’t hang on to the one-hopper. Cousins’ plan from the start had to be to plow into Posey, because he knew the throw would beat him there and decided to go anyway. There was no “split-second decision” involved.

    And all of this about Posey living with baseball changing the rules for him? He won’t have anything to do with it, as another commenter already mentioned. He’s resting up, dealing with a ton of pain, and eventually rehab. MLB is discussing a rules change and will make the decision about it, not Posey.

    • Daniel Stern June 3, 2011 10:13 pm #

      yikes

  14. Phil June 3, 2011 4:46 pm #

    Cousins Releases a statement

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6623896

    • oakdale dude June 3, 2011 5:11 pm #

      Now the PR Collision is officially in full effect.

  15. Phil June 4, 2011 4:18 pm #

    Johnny Bench puts Buster Posey at fault for bad positioning

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6625504