Giants president Larry Baer on Posey injury

May 27, 2011, 1:03 am
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Giants president Larry Baer spoke about the injury to catcher Buster Posey Thursday afternoon as part of his scheduled radio show on KNBR. The following is a selection of his comments.

Posey sustained a fractured left fibula and torn ligaments in his left ankle. X-rays taken Wednesday night and the MRI confirmed it Thursday morning.

Larry Baer
"In our minds we're talking about a Mickey Mantle, a Willie Mays, a person we believe is going to be a tremendous force in the game of baseball for a long time."

"I happened to walk in this morning with Bruce Bochy, we just happened to park our cars together and walked in at the same time and that's what Bruce was saying: 'This is somebody that the game cannot afford to lose.' He'll be back. It's a serious injury but he will be back. Nobody is willing to say -- I'll get this out there right now and Boch said this after the game -- nobody is willing to say that he's out for the season. We'll see. There are a lot of things that have to happen."

"I would say it's a legal hit. I would say it was legal. It did not violate the rules, per se. Was it appropriate? I think that's a judgement call. I think there was a lane to the plate and there was an intent to go to hit Buster as opposed to touch the plate. And that, in the way the rules exist now is not illegal. Jarring the ball loose -- going after the catcher and jarring the ball loose is not illegal. It was a decision made by a player. And it's been discussed, that this player is not a starter for the Marlins. He's a good player, went to USF. So he took a tactic that is allowed within the rules of baseball."

"You have a situation where -- and football is changing and a lot of sports are changing -- but just take the basic rule in football on a wide receiver. It is a penalty to hit the receiver while the ball is in the air. You're supposed to go for the ball. There's a lot of reform made now with what you can and can't do with quarterbacks."

"What you have in baseball, this is really the only play in baseball where you have a stationary player with, really when it comes right down to it, minimal padding, minimal protection, and a guy coming at him full force, trying to jar the ball loose. He did have a path to the plate and I believe that the way Buster has been taught, he has been taught to provide, to not block the plate completely. "

"Nobody is suggesting we have a quote" Buster Posey Rule" and I don't want to get that sanctimonious about it, but I do believe that you could one day have -- thank God this isn't the case with Buster -- somebody could break a neck in this situation. Boch and I were walking in today, and we looked at each other and Boch who has been there, was a catcher and who has absorbed collisions, said it could be a lot worse."

"It made me angry because it's a big injury to a key player of ours. I think we have to come back to say it was not an illegal play. There are a lot of players, perhaps starting players, who would not have taken that approach because it's a risk to the player that's on the basepaths, the player that's running into the catcher as well. There's way to get a piece of the plate and take the lane. But there are a lot of factors here. Now everybody knows now about Nate Schierholtz, who has a tremendous arm. He's been gunning runners down at home plate and third base. So that I'm sure was a factor. He knew the ball was going to be there."

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