Buster Posey's season-ending injury was cringe-worthy. But the fallout is getting really ugly.
When the Giants catcher fractured his leg in a violent collision at home plate ten days ago, it came as no shock that the reaction in the Bay Area was heated.
It was also perfectly reasonable when last week, Giants GM Brian Sabean called on baseball officials to review rules regarding home-plate collisions, and suggested a simple - but significant - change.
"You have to slide into other bases," Sabean said. "Why shouldn't you have to slide into home plate?"
But this week, Sabean got personal, blasting Scott Cousins, the Marlins reserve who was responsible for breaking Posey's leg, 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 barreled into Posey on May 25, scoring the eventual winning run in the top of the 12th inning. As CBSSports.com's Evan Brunell notes, Cousins had a fairly clear path to the plate, with Posey in front of the dish attempting to field a relay. Cousins chose to crash 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.
"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."
Sabean then insinuated 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."
As CBSSports.com's C. Trent Rosecrans reports, Cousins' agent, Matt Sosnick said 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 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."
This is getting ugly. For everyone's sake, we hope things cool down by August 12 - that's when the Marlins will host the Giants in what will be the team's final matchup of the season.