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Posey driven by passion for the game

Posey driven by passion for the game

Posey driven by passion for the game
SAN FRANCISCO -- The sparkle in Buster Posey's eyes is not the reflection of his glittering offensive numbers.

Posey's performance in April made it impossible to believe that he didn't play last season after a collision at home on May 25 severely injured his left leg. He entered Monday ranked fourth in the National League in batting average (.353), slugging percentage (.603) and OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage, 1.016).

But Posey insists that he's not dwelling on his statistics. Indulging his passion for the game is what drives him.

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Posey admits that he used to periodically check his stats, but he has kicked the habit this year.

"I'm just trying to go about my business each day, keep a consistent approach and try to win ballgames," Posey said.

In this era, of course, players inevitably know how they're faring.

"I mean, I know what I'm hitting," he said. "It's on the scoreboard, and I can't really help that. But as far as what everybody else is doing, I'm not real up to date."

Mainly, Posey is relishing being on the field again.

"It stinks to be sidelined for any amount of time, but especially as long as I was last year," he said. "Yeah, [I'm] just having fun each day and enjoying it."

Manager Bruce Bochy didn't expect this much production from Posey this soon, particularly since the 25-year-old's Spring Training preparation had to be interrupted at times to rest his leg.

"To do what he's doing, I'm a little surprised, to be honest," Bochy said. "I thought it would take a little longer for him to get his timing, but he looks very comfortable up there. He's shown no effects from what happened."

Posey confirmed this.

"I've been happy with the first month. My ankle's responded great," he said. "I've been out there as much or maybe more than I hoped for."

Indeed, Posey has appeared in 19 of San Francisco's 22 games -- including four starts at first base. Bochy made it known as early as last year that Posey would play some first, but the emergence of backup catcher Hector Sanchez as a viable performer indicates that Posey could be playing first more than just occasionally.

Asked about playing first base as often as he has, Posey said. "I'm good with it."

Regarding a permanent move there, which the Giants have discussed, Posey reiterated his desire to catch yet affirmed his intent to do what's best for the team.

"I still say I want to be behind the plate," he said. "But I'm not opposed to going over there [first base] when the right time presents itself."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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