MIAMI (AP) Florida Marlins rookie Scott Cousins has been receiving death threats despite repeatedly apologizing for a collision with San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey.
The collision at home plate on May 25 left Posey with a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle. He’s had surgery and is done for the season.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean criticized Cousins on his weekly radio show on KNBR this week, calling the play malicious and unnecessary. Sabean also said “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.”
“He chose to be a hero, in my mind,” Sabean said. “If that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory.”
Those comments got the attention of Major League Baseball, and executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with Sabean on Friday. The Giants also issued a statement saying Sabean’s comments were made out of frustration, and the GM was trying to reach Cousins.
“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,” the team said in the statement.
Cousins also issued a statement Friday and apologized again for the collision.
“I hope and believe that Mr. Sabean’s comments were made in the heat of the moment and are based more on his fondness for Buster Posey than on any animosity towards me,” Cousins said in the statement. “This situation is still an open wound for many, including myself. As I have stated previously, nobody outside of Buster feels worse about his injury than I do.”
Cousins said he’s tried to contact Posey but has been unsuccessful.
“I do believe, however, that the play was clean and totally within the rules of the game,” Cousins said. “Explaining over and over that I would never intentionally hurt another player for any reason won’t change the minds of those who doubt my sincerity or intent.
“I have a responsibility to myself, my teammates, and my organization to play the game hard. This is what has gotten me to the big leagues, and hopefully this is what will keep me here.”
Giants president Larry Baer he spoke with Marlins president David Samson on Friday regarding Sabean’s comments. Baer also said Sabean talked to Florida GM Larry Beinfest and tried calling Cousins himself but was unsuccessful.
“It’s still a pretty raw emotional time for us,” Baer said. “I mean, to lose (Posey) for the season, a guy who means so much to us. Having said that, we’re looking forward and we’re looking forward to Buster’s recovery. We’re certainly out of the business of talking about the incident and revisiting it other than we think it’s healthy dialogue to talk about what can be done to protect the player.”
Posey felt Cousins could have slid around him but also said it was a legal play.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison came to Cousins’ defense during an interview Friday on Siruis/XM radio, calling Sabean “wildly unprofessional” for calling out his teammate.
“When has he played in the big leagues? When has he played in the minor leagues?” Morrison said. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s never been in a situation like that. It’s terrible.
“Why would you wish anything like that on anybody?” Morrison continued. “He’s getting death threats from people. This is his hometown, San Francisco. He’s worried about his family and his friends that are there. And now (Sabean) is going to make comments like that? It’s ignorant, it’s inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”
Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said before Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers that he doesn’t have to defend his young outfielder because Cousins didn’t do anything wrong.
“As a team we don’t have anything to say,” Rodriguez said. “If people want to keep talking about that, let them talk.”
The Giants visit the Marlins for a three-game series in August.
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