Twins broadcaster Gladden blames Buster Posey for injury

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey looks on during workouts in preparation for the Major League Baseball’s World Series in San Francisco October 26, 2010. The Giants will face the Texas Rangers in the series opening game on Wednesday. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Do you know that guy that purposely tries to stand out in a debate by stating how he would have done something differently? Mr. Hindsight I like to call him. He’s this guy: “Well, I don’t know why he did it that way – that’s not the way I would have done it. I would have done it correctly…pure, 100% correct is how I would have done it.”

Well meet Twins’ broadcaster Dan Gladden…that guy.

Gladden played for the Giants in the mid-80s before winning a pair of World Series rings with the Twins. With the Twinkies in San Francisco facing the Giants for a three-game series, Gladden went on KNBR 680 radio on Tuesday and flat out blamed catcher Buster Posey for the way he was injured during a collision at the plate with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins.

From CSN BayArea.com:

“Don’t, don’t don’t change any of the rules,” Gladden said when asked about Posey’s collision with Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins. “We’ve been playing this brand of baseball for long time.

“What people don’t talk about — I haven’t heard one person — talk about the bad position that Posey was in when he tried to put that tag down. You don’t put your leg in a position like that to try to block the plate. It was Posey’s fault for getting in a position where he did where he laid that left leg down like that and went about just trying to just kind of block the plate. When I came around third base I looked for contact on every play with the catcher. And I’d keep an eye on his eyes. His eyes would tell me where the ball is. I had run-ins with (Mike) Scioscia, I had run-ins with Dave Valle, all the catchers.”

Can you see me? You can’t see me. I’m rolling my eyes. I’m rolling my eyes at these ridiculous comments.

I wasn’t inside the radio studio when Gladden was on-air but I can picture him sitting there with a puffed-out chest talking about his days as a player. He apparently wanted to remind everyone what a tough-nosed athlete he was back in the day but in doing so, he didn’t bother to get his facts right while describing Posey’s injury.

Posey wasn’t blocking the plate, period – end of story. You can make the argument that he was moving in that direction to seal off Scott Cousins’ lane, but if you actually watched the play then you cannot definitively say that Posey was blocking the plate. So for Gladden to say, “You don’t put your leg in a position like that to try to block the plate,” is ridiculous and it shows how little the broadcaster was paying attention when ESPN showed the replays 72,000 times following the injury.

I love how Gladden says that he hasn’t “heard one person” talk about Posey being in bad position. Is he serious? Has he heard of the internet? Somebody get my man a computer and show him how to Google, because there have been plenty of people who have blamed Posey for the incident – and just like Gladden, they obviously didn’t watch the play. It’s a shame everyone just can’t admit that it was an unfortunate, legal play and move on. Instead, we’re subject to foolish claims by guys like Gladden, who apparently think that just because they played the position they can make up things that didn’t happen in order to talk about themselves.

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Giants GM only making Posey situation worse with comments about Cousins

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey reaches for a ball in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game 3 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco, October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Who can blame Giants general manager Brian Sabean for being a little sensitive these days when it comes to the topic of Buster Posey? A little over a week ago he lost his star catcher for the season when Scott Cousins blew him up during a collision at the plate. From the GM down to the fans, many folks are a little touchy right now in ‘Frisco.

But Sabean seems hell bent on making the situation worse. His club is coming off a successful road trip – one that saw the Giants take three of four from the first-place Cardinals – and yet all anyone can talk about today are the comments Sabean made on KNBR radio.

On Thursday, Sabean said that he didn’t blame Posey for not wanting to hear from Cousins following the play. Then he got personal.

“I don’t blame the kid,” Sabean said of Posey on his weekly KNBR radio program. “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.”

Ouch. At first, you almost can’t blame Sabean for protecting his young player. But suggesting that “we’ll all be happy” if Cousins doesn’t play another day in the big leagues is a bit much. When asked if he was being harsh with his comments, Sabean didn’t back down.

“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. We talked to (former Giants catcher) Mike Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.”

Cousins’ agent Matt Sosnick was quick to respond to Sabean’s criticism of his client.

“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.”

Something that always happens in situations like these is that fans choose sides. There are many people who believe Posey was trying to block the plate and therefore was fair game. Furthermore, it wasn’t Cousins’ hit that caused the injury, but Posey’s improper footing. (There are also many people who feel as though this wouldn’t be a story if it didn’t involve Buster Posey and they’re probably right. But it did involve Buster Posey, so discussing whether or not it’s a story is a waste of time.)

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Eli Whiteside shows off cajones by taking on Prince Fielder during play at the plate

Giant fans don’t like the sight of Eli Whiteside in the lineup. That usually means that Buster Posey has a day off (if he’s not playing first base), although nowadays the situation is more permanent after the 2010 Rookie of the Year broke his fibula on Wednesday night.

But even though Giant fans would clearly rather see Posey play everyday than Whiteside, they must have a little more respect and admiration for the backup catcher after what transpired Friday night in Milwaukee.

With two outs and the Giants nursing a 5-3 lead against the Brewers in the 8th, Jonathan Lucroy drove in Ryan Braun with a single to left to cut San Fran’s lead to one run. Trying to score from second on the play was Prince Fielder, who came barreling down the third base line at Whiteside as Cody Ross threw a perfect one-hopper to the plate.

Giant fans watching as the 275-pound built-like-a-Mac-truck Fielder came rushing full-bore at Whiteside immediately felt their hearts jump into the their throats after witnessing what was done to Posey two nights prior. But Ross’ throw was early, so Whiteside had enough time to catch it, set his feet and take Fielder head-on. Not only did he absorb the blow from the Milwaukee linebacker first baseman, but he also held onto the ball to end the inning and the Brewers’ scoring threat. The Giants eventually held on by that same 5-4 score.

After the game, Whiteside told reporters: “If he’s coming at you, you can go at him. No rule in the book says you can’t take it to him.”

How do you not love that if you’re a Giants fan? It certainly doesn’t ease the pain of losing Posey for the entire season, but you have to love how Whiteside (who isn’t a jockey at 6-2, 220 pounds) wouldn’t back down. I don’t know how long this video will be up before the powers at be take it down, but here’s the play:

I love Fielder’s expression at the end of the play. “Seriously, dude hung on? And did he just toss the ball over my head?”

Giants still unsure of Posey’s recovery time

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey prepares to bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver on May 17, 2011. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

If ever there were a time to root for a broken bone, it would be in the case of Giants catcher Buster Posey.

After his leg collapsed awkwardly under his body during a collision at the plate with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins on Wednesday night, Posey underwent three MRIs on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury. The early reports were that he was diagnosed with a broken leg and torn ligaments, the latter of which being the freighting part to Posey and the Giants.

Broken bones heal, but damaged ligaments are something that can puts athletes’ careers in jeopardy. Thankfully, he “only” has a broken left fibula and severely strained ankle ligaments. In some respects, it’s the first sign of good news since Posey suffered the injury on Wednesday night. It’s still a terrible situation and your heart goes out to a young player who has meant the world to the Giants’ organization, but at least his knee was unaffected.

The Giants placed their young catcher on the 15-day DL on Thursday and have stated that he will have surgery within the week. They won’t say whether or not he’s out for the season because quite frankly, they don’t know. They won’t have a timetable for his recovery until they get the details of his surgery ironed out.

I’m no doctor but if I were to make an educated guess on how long Posey will be out for based on athletes who have suffered a similar injury, the player that instantly comes to mind is Michael Vick. Different sports, I know, but the quarterback suffered a fractured right fibula on August 16, 2003 and returned to action on November 30 of that same year, which would have put his recovery time at roughly 15 weeks.

Again, I’m not a doctor. If any reader in the medical field would like to set me straight and educate me on the severity of both injuries: by all means, please leave me a comment. But from a simpleton’s point of view, it looks like Vick and Posey suffered similar injuries. Vick was also in his early 20s at the time of his injury and being 24, Posey has age on his side as well. Either way, it’s obviously important that the Giants don’t rush him back. If he needs a full year to recover, so be it. But based on the injury Vick suffered, I wouldn’t be surprised if Posey’s recovery timetable is right around 4-5 months (which would sadly wipe out his 2011 campaign).

In the wake of Posey’s injury, will the Giants bring back a familiar face in Molina?

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey reacts after the Philadelphia Phillies scored their third run in the third inning during Game 5 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco, October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

In the eyes of the Giants and their fans, the Marlins can’t get on a plane to vacate San Francisco fast enough.

Before Florida came to town on Tuesday, the Giants were riding a five-game winning streak. Sure, luck was a big reason they swept the A’s last weekend but their pitching was also dominant and they had enough clutch hitting to take all three games. It was the same recipe that allowed them to bring the first World Series championship to San Francisco last year.

But two losses and one massive injury insult later and the Giants are wishing the Marlins were left off their schedule this year. After Florida dumped them 5-1 on Tuesday, the Giants rallied from five runs down in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday to tie the game 6-6 and force extra innings. Too bad they didn’t just take the 6-1 loss in the ninth.

In the 12th, Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins was tagging from third base and, knowing that there would be a close play at the plate with Nate Schierholtz throwing from right field, slammed into Giants catcher Buster Posey. The 2010 Rookie of the Year couldn’t hang onto the ball and worse yet, his left ankle/foot got caught underneath his body in gruesome fashion. As he lie on the dirt withering in pain, it was all the Giants and their faithful could do but to wince right along with him.

Posey will undergo an MRI on Thursday in order to determine the severity of the injury, but a trip to the disabled list seems inevitable. If he’s out for an extended period of time, you can’t help but to feel for the young man who carries himself well beyond his 24 years of age. Without their young catcher, there would have been no championship in San Francisco last year and that’s a fact. That’s how much he has meant to the club since being called up in June last year.

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