It was a scene in baseball that is pretty much the norm. With the game tied 6-6 between the San Francisco Giants and the Florida Marlins Wednesday night, the Marlins has a chance to win the game in the 12th inning. Florida's Scott Cousins was at third when a ball was hit to shallow right center. He tagged and made a break for home plate. The ball made it into catcher and Giants franchise player Buster Posey, causing an inevitable collision at the plate. The hit ensued and Cousins was ruled safe.
The Marlins ended up winning but the Giants suffered a loss that was far greater than just one game, they lost Posey to a leg injury suffered in the hit.
"I felt like he was blocking the dish. It's the go-ahead run to win the game, I got to do whatever I can to score," Cousins said. "I'm not trying to end anybody's season or anything like that. I just was trying to play hard and score the go-ahead run. He didn't say much and you could tell he was in pain.
"And when their manager, when Bruce (Bochy) came out, he was pretty frustrated. I didn't want to make things any more tense."
A MRI was done Thursday on Posey's injury and it appears that the second year player suffered a broken fibula and severely strained ligaments in his left ankle and will miss at least six to eight weeks, Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner told the San Francisco Chronicle. Posey will need surgery on his ankle, Groeschner said, and it is possible a screw could be inserted.
"The fracture will be fine," said Groeschner. "The ankle injury is most concerning to us."
The surgery will keep Posey sidelined for at least 2 months and keep the Giants without their best option for clean up hitter. The loss puts a serious crimp in their plans to repeat as World Series Champions this year.
"You just don't replace a guy like Buster Posey," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Bochy, a former catcher himself, was so heartsick over the news and the events surrounding it that he is imploring the MLB to change its rules surrounding home plate collisions.
"It's part of baseball, I understand that, guys running into catchers. Being a catcher, I've been in a few of them. You're in harm's way there," Bochy said. "I think we do need to consider changing the rules here a little bit because the catcher is so vulnerable and there's so many who have gotten hurt. And not just a little bit, had their careers ended or shortened. And here's a guy who's very popular in baseball. Fans want to see him play.
"Now he's out for a while."
Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, agrees with Bochy and said Thursday morning that he had reached out to Joe Torre, leader of on-field operations for Major League Baseball, and raised the idea of changing the rules regarding plays at the plate.
"You leave players way too vulnerable," Berry said. "I can tell you Major League Baseball is less than it was before [Posey's injury]. It's stupid. I don't know if this ends up leading to a rule change, but it should. The guy [at the plate] is too exposed.
"If you go helmet to helmet in the NFL, it's a $100,000 fine, but in baseball, you have a situation in which runners are [slamming into] fielders. It's brutal. It's borderline shocking. It just stinks for baseball."
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