Sunday, June 5, 2011

Giants GM makes bad situation much worse

Giants General Manager Brian Sabean made a very bad situation much worse by issuing a veiled threat against Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins, who ended Giants catcher Buster Posey’s season in a home plate collision.

I understand that Sabean is very upset and frustrated by losing his star catcher for the rest of the 2011 season, but his comments are simply inexcusable. He inflamed an already volatile situation in which Cousins has received several death threats. There is simply no room for a baseball executive like Sabean to say that he would be happy if a player never played another game or that his team will have a long memory, implying that Cousins could be thrown at or hurt in some way when the teams play each other again.

Posey, meanwhile, hasn’t exactly shined in this situation either. He issued a statement saying he did not condone threats against Cousins and his family. But his statement also made clear that he had no interest in speaking to Cousins, who is obviously devastated by what happened and has tried to personally apologize numerous times.

This situation reminds me of Derek Jeter’s terrible behavior after then Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby inadvertently dislocated his shoulder during a collision at third base on Opening Day 2003. After failing to contact Jeter via phone, Huckaby walked over to the New York Yankees clubhouse to seek Jeter out with a personal apology. All he received in return was, as Ian O’ Connor put it in his Jeter biography, “a cold, bloodless stare.”

That was truly the one time I thought Jeter behaved despicably, something that he has never made amends for. In fact, he continues to defend his behavior by insisting Huckaby never called and that he wasn’t being a bad guy by refusing to accept his apology. Posey, like Jeter, is upset about missing time playing baseball and is rebuffing efforts by Cousins to apologize. But, unlike Jeter, I hope Posey is man enough to forgive Cousins, which would go a long way toward easing the tension.

I don’t think Major League Baseball will discipline Sabean for his comments. Joe Torre apparently had a conversation with Sabean in which he made clear that his comments were out of line, but I wish Torre and Bud Selig would take it one step further and either fine or suspend Sabean. We simply can’t have baseball executives threatening players for playing the game of baseball.

Thanks to btwashburn via Wikipedia for the Brian Sabean picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment