Tag:Scott Cousins
Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 9:18 pm

Marlins' Morrison: Lost respect for Sabean, Posey


By Evan Brunell

Quite the rivalry is brewing between the Marlins and Giants, and Logan Morrison just took it a step further.

The Marlins left fielder felt compelled to speak out about Giants GM Brian Sabean's inflammatory comments in which he said that he wouldn't miss Cousins at all if he never played in the majors again. Cousins, of course, was the player to smash into Buster Posey, breaking Posey's leg and ending his season. Many are divided on whether the play was clean or dirty.

"That's immature," Morrison told MLB.com of Sabean's comments. "That's childish."

Posey Injury

"I hope [Sabean] apologizes, because what he said was wildly inappropriate and wildly unprofessional, and it really shows ignorance on his part," Morrison said. "Not to show compassion for a human being who is going through a hard time ... I guess he wouldn't know anything about. If it were me, and I was on his side, I'd reserve my comments until the death threats have subsided."

Cousins has reportedly received death threats. Although he feels the play was clean, he has attempted to reach out to Posey to apologize for the injury and says the play is still an "open wound" for him. The Giants, for their part, released a statement that said Sabean's comments were spoken out of frustration, and that the GM was reaching out to both Cousins and Marlins president Larry Beinfest.

Morrison came right out and said he had "animosity" toward Sabean and his comments, although he holds no grudges against the Giants. But he also has lost respect for Posey:

If it was me running, I would have put him in the third row of the stands. If he got hurt, I'm sorry. That's part of the game. I'd feel bad if he did get hurt. But I wouldn't have written a two-page letter like Cousins did. I wouldn't have tried to reach out to him like Cousins did, because I know it's part of the game. I wouldn't have felt half as bad as Cousins did. And for Posey not to write back to him or say anything to him, that's just immature and childish. I have no respect for him or respect for Sabean.

The 23-year-old had plenty more to say on the subject, and he doesn't think the rules should be altered for collisions at home plate that place both the runner and catcher in danger:

If he doesn't like the rules, be in a different game. These have been around for a hundred years. This game is this way because it doesn't make the changes that football does or like basketball does. It sticks with the same rules. For him to question the integrity of the game because it happens to him, and it happens to one of his best players, doesn't mean that it should ask for rules changes.

Here's the thing: It's the winning run of the game. Even if he did, and I'm not saying he did have a clear lane, but that lane was about to be shut off by Posey, who was coming back towards him to tag him.

You're watching it in slow motion replay. If I had a clean lane and had to slide, and I was out by sliding, I'm mad at myself for not running him over. It's within my rights to run him over and separate him from the ball.

Morrison added that several Giants players told him and other Marlins players that the play was clean.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 8:45 pm

Giants: Sabean's comments out of frustration

By Evan Brunell

The San Francisco Giants released a statement on GM Brian Sabean's harsh comments on a radio show Thursday, saying that Sabean was only speaking out of frustration and did not mean to vilify Cousins.

Really? All Sabean did was blame the outfielder for wrecking Buster Posey's career and say that he and the team would be happy if Cousins never played in the majors again and warn the Marlins outfielder that he should be careful the next time the two teams meet up. There's no wiggling out of Sabean's comments, but the Giants organization is certainly trying:
This is a very emotional time for the Giants organization and our fans. We lost for the season one of our best players to a serious injury and we are doing everything we can to support Buster Posey through this very difficult time. We appreciate Scott Cousins' outreach to Buster Posey and to the Giants organization.

Brian Sabean's comments yesterday were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins. Brian has been in contact with Florida Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest to clarify his comments and to assure him that there is no ill-will toward the player. He has also reached out to Scott Cousins directly.

The issue of catcher safety is a complicated one. There are a number of differing opinions around the circumstances of last week's collision and about what baseball should do to prevent serious injuries in the future. This issue goes far beyond last week's incident as there have been a number of recent collision-involved injuries.

We have been in contact with Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president for baseball operations, and have asked for a thorough examination of this issue for the health and safety of all players.

We intend to move beyond conversations about last week's incident and focus our attention on Buster's full recovery and on defending our World Series title.

How hard do you think Sabean's teeth gritted when he called Cousins?

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am

Pepper: Sabean over the top in his comments

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the chances of the Marlins, Brewers and Diamondbacks sticking around all season.

SABEAN OUT OF LINE: Buster Posey's injury is the story that just won't die -- and it flared up again on Thursday when Giants general manager Brian Sabean ripped Scott Cousins on a San Francisco radio station.

Sabean intimated there would be some sort of retaliation the next time the Giants saw the Marlins' Cousins. For a general manager to imply his team would be looking to hurt another player is irresponsible and reprehensible -- especially when Cousins played within the rules. You can bet Bud Selig will be making a call to Sabean and there will plenty of eyes on the Giants when they head to Florida Aug. 12-14.

Not only were Sabean's comments unprofessional, they're also hypocritical. Baseball Prospectus' Larry Granillo takes a look at Pablo Sandoval's similar play last season against the Pirates, and also a play from 2006 which was worse that happened to the Giants' Todd Greene, but caused no public outrage from Sabean.

Cousins' agent, Matt Sosnick, answered, saying 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 San Jose 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."

WEBB SHUT DOWN: Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb felt discomfort in his right shoulder in a bullpen session on Thursday and is being shut down. He has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will be shut down for a minimum of seven days. (MLB.com)

9 TEAMS VIOLATE DEBT RULES: We all knew the Dodgers and Mets were in financial trouble, but they're apparently not alone. According to a Los Angeles Times report, a total of nine of the 30 teams are in violation of the MLB debt service rules which limit team's debt levels to 10 times its annual earnings. The guilty teams are a mix of big and small market teams -- the Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Marlins, Phillies, Rangers and Nationals.

DRAFT BONANZA: While the Rays may have more picks than anyone else in next week's draft, the Diamondbacks have the most valuable picks. In one of the deepest drafts in years, Arizona has a chance to pick up two impact players, drafting No. 3 and No. 7 overall. (Arizona Republic)

Yankees' MISSED OPPORTUNITY: UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole may be the top pick (or at least in the top three) next week, but it won't be the first time he's drafted in the first round. The Yankees took him in 2008, but he decided to go to UCLA instead. (New York Daily News)

WRIGHT, WILPON OK: David Wright finally spoke to Mets owner (for now) Fred Wilpon and said "all is well." Wright is one of the players Wilpon criticized in a New Yorker article. (New York Post)

Things should continue to be good with Wright and Wilpon, because it's unlikely he's going anywhere. Earlier this week there were rumors Wright may be moved, but the New York Daily News reports Wright's option for 2013 is team-specific, meaning only the Mets could exercise it. Any other team would risk losing Wright to free agency following the 2012 season. Anyway, it doesn't make much sense to sell low on Wright right now anyway, so expect him to stay with the Mets.

JETER WATCH: Derek Jeter currently has 2,984 hits and he acknowledges he feels a bit of a "responsibility" to reach 3,000 at Yankee Stadium. At his current pace, he'd get hit 3,000 at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs on June 18. Oddly enough, another Yankee had a chance at a milestone at Wrigley Field recently -- Roger Clemens' third shot at his 300th win was at Wrigley Field in June, 2003, but he lost that game. He won in his next start -- at Yankee Stadium against the Cardinals. The Yankees have a 10-game homestead from June 7-16 before going to Chicago for three and Cincinnati for three, returning home on June 24. Selfishly, I'd love to see Jeter go for 3,000 in Cincinnati, just so I could see it in person. It'd be more fitting for him to get it in New York, though. (New York Daily News)

DISAPPOINTMENTS: What do Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Carpenter, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford have in common? Well, they're all rich. Besides that, they're also on SI.com's Joe Sheehan's All-Disappointment Team. I'd take all five of those guys in a heartbeat. They're a discappointment because they haven't lived up to their own high standards so far, all five have the ability to turn it around in a heartbeat.

GRITTY AND GUTTY: Sure, these gifts are a little too prized by old-timers and not prized enough by new-school thinkers. Whatever their worth, those kind of players are fun to watch -- and the Padres have one in Chris Denorfia. As a personal note, Denorfia is one of the really good guys in the game and I'm glad to see him doing well. (San Diego Tribune-Review)

HARPER SHINES, STRUGGLES: In one game, Bryce Harper showed exactly why he's too good for the South Atlantic League, but also not quite ready to be called up to the next level. In addition to a walk-off homer, Harper fell victim to the old fake-to-third-throw-to-first move and was also caught in a rundown. (Washington Post)

CURE FOR THE CURSE? The Cubs are 5-0 in throwback uniforms -- now if they'd just wear them all the time… (BleedCubbieBlue.com)

FOR THE SNEAKERHEADS: Move over Brian Wilson, Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has the coolest spikes on the planet. Guthrie has a pair of Air Jordan I spikes that are just plain awesome. (NikeBlog.com)

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 8:14 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:51 am

Sabean rips into Cousins for ending Posey's year


By Evan Brunell

Giants GM Brian Sabean hit the KNBR airwaves Wednesday and had choice words for Scott Cousins, who was responsible for ending Buster Posey's season, 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 barrelled into Posey on May 25, scoring the eventual winning run in the top of the 12th inning. Cousins had a fairly clear path to the plate, with Posey in front of the dish attempting to field a relay. Cousins chose to barrell 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.

Posey Injury
“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.”

Aren't those words harsh?

“Well, no,” added Sabean, intimating 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.”

The Marlins will host the Giants on August 12-14 in what will be the team's final matchup of the season. It's possible Cousins won't be around for that, however, as he's hitting .159/.245/.250 in 39 games and has generally been used as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

These are strong words by Sabean, but it's hard to blame him. Posey was a crucial part of the Giants' club, had led the team to a World Series victory last season and was in his second season of what appeared to be a promising career. Now, Posey may never catch again.

“That’s going to be up to Buster once he comes through this,” Sabean said of Posey's future as a catcher. “I know he wants to catch. I know this is a horrific experience for him. He’s in a lot of pain right now. It’s psychologically difficult for him to rationalize this, so that decision is way up the line. But he’s a warrior and if he wants to catch the position then I’m sure he’ll come to camp next spring as a catcher.”

If so, it's likely that Posey will stop blocking the plate the way he had been. His accident has caused many around the game to evaluate expectations of catchers. While no other position player or even pitcher is expected to put himself in harm's way like catchers, backstops have had to deal with the belief around baseball that catchers need to block the plate and absorb collisions to earn respect from players. Teams over the years have attempted to change this, and manager Bruce Bochy even told Posey not to block the plate in spring training, but all too often, it takes an unfortunate incident like this to spur change and shake up the macho culture that pervades sports.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 11:34 am

Pepper: Pirates best at something

By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Eye on Baseball's C. Trent Rosecrans joins Adam Aizer to talk about the impressive month of May that Jay Bruce has put together and much more. Check out the video above.

TOP STADIUM? PNC PARK: In a blog over at NYTimes.com, the writer compiled data on every major league ballpark from yelp.com, which gathers fan reviews. The attempt was to get a mass audience instead of simply having one person give an opinion about the best parks. Pittsburgh's PNC Park was first place and it was rather strong. This isn't entirely surprising, as most everyone raves about the yard. The problem is the Pirates have been a futile franchise for so long you rarely so it more than about 1/3 full. Fenway Park (Boston), AT&T Park (San Fran), Target Field (Minnesota) and Camden Yards (Baltimore) round out the top five. The bottom three are Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay), Overstock.com Coliseum (Oakland) and Rogers Centre (Toronto). You have to figure places with polarizing fan bases (Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium) are a bit hurt here by fan rankings and places with overly happy fans (St. Louis) get a bit of a bump. Overall these are pretty good, though.

SORIANO GOES DOWN: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano had to leave with an strain to his left quad after his first at-bat Monday afternoon. He was trying to beat out a ground ball down the third base line and pulled up lame about three steps from first base. He left the game immediately and was replaced in left field by Blake DeWitt, who proceeded to go 3-4 the rest of the way. If Soriano hits the DL, expect Tyler Colvin to get recalled, though Cubs manager Mike Quade said DeWitt's going to be the first option in left. (Chicago Tribune)

MORE ON POSEY INJURY: Because it's been a few days since we mentioned the most important injury in the history of the world (yes, that is sarcasm), former catcher Mike Matheny believes the Scott Cousins hit to Buster Posey was unnecessary, but not dirty and there's no reason for a rule change. “It’s not a dirty play,” he said. “He didn’t come high spikes or elbow. But it wasn’t a necessary play. I loved the play at the plate as a catcher. But when a guy goes out of his way to get you, I’m not a big fan of that. It was avoidable.” So, basically, Matheny agrees with the majority of the sports world. Cool. I like Buster Posey and wish him a quick recovery, but it's utterly amazing how much fallout there's been from this injury. (Mercurynews.com)

SCORE ONE FOR STATHEADS: One of the things the old-school crowd likes to say about sabermetrics, in a pound-my-chest sort of way, is that none of them played the game. People who played the game know baseball isn't about all these numbers, right? Five time All-Star and one-time Cy Young winner David Cone actually loves advanced metrics, specifically naming WAR (wins above replacement). "Crying the blues over run support drew me into the data a little more,” Cone said last week. “Just my yearning to quantify exactly what I did in my career, trying to compare year-to-year.” Hmmm, sounds like he isn't a fan of judging pitchers on the archaic wins and losses stats. (Baseball Prospectus)

BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL: Miguel Cabrera has had his driver's license suspended every since he was arrested on DUI charges on February 16 and his case is still pending. Cabrera has, however, gotten his license back. It was determined that there wasn't enough evidence Cabrera was actually driving while intoxicated on the night of the arrest, as he was drinking a bottle of scotch in his broken-down vehicle. Let's hope this doesn't mean he gets behind the wheel while intoxicated any time soon, but he'd have to drink first. The focus seems to be on him not drinking at all, so that's more important. (Detroit Free Press)

GOOD GENES: Diamondbacks' manager Kirk Gibson very much appreciates the U.S. military, as he pointed out on Memorial Day. Things hit a bit closer to home for Gibby, as his father was actually on the USS Missouri in 1945 when the United States and Japan signed a peace treaty that ended World War II. (MLB.com)

GREAT STORY: Without re-writing the entire thing, there's no way to do justice to the story of Pawtucket strength coach Mike Roose (just click here to read on MLBlogs). Thousands of Americans have served in the military -- Roose served in the Air Force -- so it's not like he's incredibly unique, but it's cool to read about his experiences. Here's a quick quote as a preview, about when he U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein (he was there): “It was surreal,” Roose said. “It’s one of those things that you think is mythical. It’s like the Pyramids of Egypt – until you see them they don’t seem real. But Hussein is just a man. He’s flesh and blood and I saw emotions like fear and cowardice. It’s something that I’ll never forget and I’m glad we took care of him, but there’s a lot more stuff over there that needs to be done.”

TRADE TALK: When the calendar turns to June this week, it's going to be time to fire up the ol' rumor machine, as teams will begin to move into buying or selling mode. As a head start, Foxsports.com offers up the Padres, Mets, Twins, Blue Jays and Rays as bullpen sellers. Fangraphs.com gives us some first base/DH trade targets. I'm not sure the Royals would cough up Billy Butler unless they were bowled over, but I'm sure he isn't untouchable. Everything else on both lists is very realistic. If the Rays seem out of place due to being a contender, Foxsports.com made sure to point out the Scott Kazmir trade. If the Rays feel like they can get better in the long term, they'll gladly move someone.

CHAPMAN ELIGIBLE TO RETURN, BUT NOT READY: Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday, but what he did on his rehab stint wasn't very good. In 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Louisville, Chapman allowed seven runs (13.50 ERA), nine hits, two walks and two wild pitches. He did strike out eight. The Reds do have injury issues to their pitching staff, so a healthy Chapman would at least fill a vacancy, it's just that if he's as bad as he was before leaving injured, that doesn't help the team. "We want him sharp. That's the second part of this rehab stint. One was to get healthy and two was to throw the ball the way he's capable of throwing," said Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. (MLB.com)

AND PEOPLE MAKE FUN OF FANTASY BASEBALL: A 58-year-old man is playing out the 2008 baseball season with a tabletop game called APBA, in which you use dice and player cards. He has finished the regular season and it's time for the playoffs -- only he uses the format from the pre-Wild Card days. His playoff teams: Cubs, Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox. All four of those teams did make the postseason, but neither of the real World Series teams (Phillies, Rays) made it. The man is doing it because he says it relaxes him. Hey, to each his own, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around this when there are still so many who think it's cool to make fun of fantasy baseball. At least fantasy players actually watch games and use real data. (Ohio.com)

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 8:19 am

Posey officially out for the season

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Buster PoseyLast May 29, Buster Posey made his 2010 debut, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and starting his charge toward the Rookie of the Year award and a World Series title. On the same day a year later, he underwent surgery to repair three ligaments in his left ankle, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Baggarly later tweeted that Giants trainer Dave Groeschner said Posey was officially out for the rest of the season. Posey had two screws inserted into his ankle and will have another surgery to remove those screws in eight to 10 weeks. Posey won't be able to walk on his own for three months, Baggarly wrote.

Days after Posey's season was likely ended by a play at the plate with Florida's Scott Cousins, the debate about what to do about collisions at the plate is still going strong.

One of the latest to chime in is Florida Marlins catcher John Baker, who was not at the game because he is coming back from Tommy John surgery. Writing for Yahoo!'s Big League Stew, Baker simultaneously defends his teammate and also expresses sympathy for a fellow catcher (not to mention getting a shot in at Nyjer Morgan).

Besides the typical, who was right, who was wrong arguments -- I think Baker makes two really interesting points.

1. The fact Posey was the one hurt made it bigger news than it would have been had it been, say, Scott Baker.

I know that Buster Posey is a rising star, but let's rewind to last season when Nyjer Morgan went out of his way to hit Brett Hayes (effectively ending his season and sparking an ugly brawl the next day) in what was clearly a dirty play. How come no one was on PTI arguing for a rule change then?

And if it wasn't Cousins who hit Posey, but instead someone like Tulowitzki, or Pujols, what then? Would the term "dirty play" be used? Apparently to get some attention in baseball you have to be a star with a World Series ring. Don't worry Hayeser, I've got your back (so does Gaby).

2. Baker favors a compromise for a rule change and dubs it the "Buster Posey rule":

If the runner is forced to slide, then the catcher cannot be allowed to block the plate (like the collegiate rule). Because throws aren't always on line, contact still will happen, but I can't disagree that everyone would be safer.

Where else in sports can you get a 90-foot head start and run full speed into a grossly under-padded target looking in a different direction? Not the NFL, NHL, NBA, or even the fighting sports. In mixed martial arts and boxing, both combatants understand the rules. Buster Posey never even had a chance to "protect himself at all times."

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 5:27 pm

Posey speaks to reporters, not happy with Cousins

By Matt Snyder

Scott Cousins of the Marlins barrelled over Giants catcher Buster Posey in a home plate collision that broke Posey's leg two nights ago. Since then, the talk of baseball has centered around the play -- namely, if there should be more protection for catchers and a discussion of whether the hit was dirty. Every dimension has been covered ad nauseam, but we hadn't heard from Posey himself. Until now.

Friday afternoon, Posey spoke to some Giants' beat writers and -- while remaining respectful -- he doesn't sound pleased with Cousins. Posey believes he left a lane for Cousins to slide into home plate without contact and that "[Cousins] chose to come at me." (Andrew Baggerly via Twitter)

Posey also reportedly said plays like this should be reviewed by the league and the players union and that he's not interested in talking to Cousins (Hank Schulman via Twitter), who has reportedly left several messages with Posey that haven't been returned.

“I don’t know if it really matters. If it’s something that would make him feel better … I can imagine if I was on the other end, that would be just about as difficult to know that a play you were involved in has more than likely put somebody out for the rest of the year. But again, I’m kind of indifferent, I guess.” (Extra Baggs)

Posey also said of Cousins, "I want to make this very clear: I don’t know Cousins, I’m not out to villify Cousins in any way whatsoever. It happened and it’s over with."

As for his own recovery, Posey expressed that he is likely out for the season. It's a sentiment that was reported, but then there seemed to be some hope he might make it back when it was revealed there was no damage to his knee.

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:19 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 2:23 am

Posey injured in extra innings

By Matt Snyder

Star Giants catcher and 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey left the Giants-Marlins game in the 12th inning with what appeared to be an injury to his lower left leg.

Scott Cousins of the Marlins scored the go-ahead run on an Emilio Bonifacio sacrifice fly and bowled over an exposed Posey at home plate. The ball bounced away, ensuring Cousins was safe at home, while Posey's left ankle buckled under him. By major-league standards, this was a clean baseball play -- just an unfortunate outcome for Posey and the Giants.

Posey had to be helped off the field and did not put any weight on his left leg. I'm no fan of speculation, but this did not look pretty.

He entered Wednesday hitting .287 with four home runs, 21 RBI and a .767 OPS. Posey won the Rookie of the Year award last season following a season where he hit .305 with 18 homers, 67 RBI and an .862 OPS in just 108 games.

The Marlins won the game, 7-6, in 12 innings.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com