Lesburg's Buster Posey saw his season end in May after a violent collision at home plate.
SCOTSDALE, Ariz. — San Francisco Giants manager and former big league catcher Bruce Bochy cringed when saw he saw the gut-wrenching, home-plate collision involving star catcher Buster Posey unfold last season.
And Bochy came into spring training with one goal: to make sure it never happens again.
When the Giants’ pitchers and catchers reported Sunday, Bochy told reporters he’s spoken with Posey at length about the incident, and has informed the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year and Leesburg native to no longer attempt to block the plate on a scoring play. Bochy said he hopes it will avoid another incident, which ended Posey’s sophomore season 10 months ago when Florida Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins trucked Posey at home, tearing three ligaments in Posey’s left ankle and breaking his fibula.
“I’ll take this out of Buster’s hands,” Bochy told reporters of his decision to ask Posey to no longer attempt to block the plate. “As a manager, that’s my job. I certainly don’t want people to think he’s backing off on his own. It’s something we’ll work on with him this spring.”
Bochy knows from experience. He was an All-Star behind the plate during his playing days and says he knows there are alternatives to keeping the opposition’s runners from scoring other than using your body as a human shield.
“I’ve already talked to Buster about this. There are ways to make the tag without putting yourself in jeopardy,’’ Bochy told USA Today. “I don’t want him to block the plate right now.”
Bochy’s comments came just one day after Posey’s highly anticipated return to the field for the Giants for the first time since the injury. There had been hope after the injury he might return late last season to aide the reigning World Series champion Giants’ playoff push, but the team determined he was not ready and set a timetable for 2012 spring training instead.
Posey said he understands Bochy’s concern and will honor his manager’s request. But most of all, he’s just happy to be back.
“The biggest thing for me back then and now is looking forward and being positive and trying to get ready for another season,” Posey said.