Audio: Sabean on Posey Collision: “If Cousins Doesn’t Play Another Day, We’ll All Be Happy”

Buster Posey (Photo: Thearon W. Henderon/Getty)
Yesterday on KNBR, Giants’ GM Brian Sabean spoke extensively about the collision at the plate in which the Marlins’ Scott Cousins plowed into Buster Posey, breaking his leg and ending the catcher’s season. LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

What are bound to be the most controversial comments:

“I think adrenaline was involved here…(Cousins) knows it’s probably going to be an accurate and close throw. And he knows he probably is going to have to resort to this. And if you hear the kid’s comments after the fact he pretty much had decided, and it was premeditated, that if he got a chance he was going to blow up the catcher to try to dislodge the ball. And if you watch what we’ve seen frame by frame and different angles, he does not take the path to the plate to try to score, he… goes after buster where its right shoulder on right shoulder, and to me that’s malicious.”

When asked about Posey’s statement that he didn’t want to talk to Cousins, Sabean said, “I don’t blame the kid. Why not be hard-nosed? If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn’t play another day in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy.”

After moving on to another topic, co-host Ralph Barbieri followed up on that statement:

“When you said what you just said at the end, Tom and I just kind of looked at each other… I’m one of the guys that thought..it was brutal and it was uncalled for. But the guy was apologetic and, to say if you never hear form him again we’re all better off, you think that might be a little harsh?”

“Well no,” Sabean said. “He chose to be a hero, in my mind. 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 talked to (former Giants catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. Let’s put it that way. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it. There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.”

Earlier, Sabean spoke to the question of whether Posey would remain a catcher:

“He’s in a lot of pain right now. That decision’s way up the line. He’s a warrior and he likes to catch the position and I’m sure next spring he’ll come to camp as a catcher.”

The harsh comments about Cousins come more than half-way through the interview. LISTEN HERE

The Chronicle talked to Cousins’ agent about Sabean’s remarks. Naturally, he begs to differ with the GM:

The Marlins did not play Thursday, but Cousins’ agent said that while he respects Sabean, he believes the GM is 100 percent wrong.

“What Cousins did was not malicious,” Sosnick said. “A statement that anyone makes implying that he did something on purpose to be hurtful or malicious to Posey is untrue. Those people are misinformed. You can’t determine on a replay if there was a sliding lane for him to get into. It’s impossible.”

Sosnick said no player ever tried harder than Cousins to reach out to a player he injured.

The agent, who also represents Freddy Sanchez, said the hit was not illegal and the right thing to do in a close game. If the same situation arose, Sosnick said, “I would hope he’d make the same play, and he would hope that nothing would happen to Posey at all.

“I’d say Brian’s opinion is in the vast minority in baseball. I can understand the disappointment that Posey is out. I’m disappointed. My family is disappointed and I don’t even represent him. I can just tell you that if you know Scott Cousins, you know it was certainly not intentional.”

And ESPN is reporting today that Joe Torre, who now oversees baseball operations for MLB, plans on talking to Sabean about his comments.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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