Sabean bothered Cousins didn't take clear path

Sabean bothered Cousins didn't take clear path

Sabean bothered Cousins didn't take clear path
MILWAUKEE -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Friday he was bothered that Scott Cousins didn't take the clear path to the plate instead of crashing into Buster Posey and likely ending his season, but said he did not consider it a dirty play.

Meanwhile, manager Bruce Bochy met with the team before its game with the Milwaukee Brewers to discuss playing without its star catcher.

Sabean, making his first comments on the matter, said he would wait a couple of days before deciding whether to call Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, to discuss the issue in terms of changing rules about plays at the plate.

"The thing that bothers me is [Cousins] had a clear path where he could have gone to the plate," Sabean said about the play that resulted in Posey suffering a broken left leg and torn ligaments in his left ankle.

"In my estimation, he would have been safe, too," Sabean said. "But there's adrenaline involved -- the kid's an athlete. He had speed on his side."

Replays show that Posey was standing in front of the plate, and it appeared that Cousins could have slid into the plate without causing a collision.

"He wasn't blocking the plate," Sabean said of Posey. "[Cousins] was making comments that suggest it was premeditated. He chose to have a collision."

Sabean, though, said he wouldn't term it a dirty play.

"I think the reason he chose that path [was] because he wanted to be sure he could dislodge the ball," he said. "Apparently, in his mind, he didn't see the lane or he didn't think he'd be safe. He's a young kid -- he's from San Francisco -- just called up to the big leagues. I have a hard time thinking he was trying to do anything to injure anybody."

Sabean said he talked to Bochy and they decided to wait a couple of days to decide whether to call Torre so they could "take the emotion out" of the issue. He noted that baseball "cleaned up" rules about body rolling and taking out infielders at second base, but not rules about plays at the plate.

"Unfortunately, it's a very vulnerable situation," Sabean said. "Boch said it best, 'These athletes are bigger and stronger and faster. Catchers are vulnerable.' You hope that something doesn't happen.

"That was my biggest fear, that he had hurt his upper body, or more so his head and neck," he said. "As it turned out, the replays indicate he rolled over that ankle and that was the injury. He was in instant pain."

Meanwhile, Bochy held a pregame meeting to talk about forging on without Posey. The team had Posey's No. 28 jersey hanging in an empty stall at Miller Park between the lockers of Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo.

"There will be questions about how good we will be without Buster, and we have to answer that question," Bochy said. "Really, you can't control what happens on the field, but we can control how we respond. It's important that we respond the right way, and that's to keep fighting."

Veterans like Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell have struggled. When asked whether those two players need to "get going," Bochy said they do.

"These guys have been through it, they're experienced," he said. "Their ability to drive in runs is what we need right now. They have a history of doing it. Those are the guys you lean on when you lose two of your best hitters, Pablo [Sandoval] and Buster."

Sandoval is on the disabled list recovering from a broken bone in his right hand. He is with the team and took practice swings for the second consecutive day with a coach tossing him the ball underhanded.

Joe DiGiovanni is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.