In good spirits, Posey pays visit to clubhouse
Giants star sees teammates for first time, thanks them for support
SAN FRANCISCO -- With a large black cast on his lower left leg and crutches under both arms, Buster Posey walked around the Giants' clubhouse on Sunday morning, receiving a warm welcome and plenty of hugs from his teammates and coaches.
Posey, sitting in street clothes with his crutches leaned up against his locker, said the discomfort has subsided over the past few days to the point where he can use his crutches without pain. He wasn't staying to watch the finale against the Rockies, and it would have been difficult for him to get up to the dugout, but his appearance was no less appreciated by the rest of the Giants.
"I was ready to get out of the house, and I wanted to see these guys to let everyone know I'm fine," said Posey, who is out for the season with a broken fibula and three torn ankle ligaments. "I'm on the right path to recovery, and I appreciate all their support, all the texts I've gotten from the clubhouse."
Posey had surgery on his ankle a week ago and said he was in a "good place right now," as he's no longer in constant pain, but the most difficult part will likely come in a month or so, when he is completely pain-free and still can't be back on the field with his team.
"I could see what Buster's saying. It probably hits home again when you come in the clubhouse and you can't play, and we're playing games. I'm sure that's going to continue to be hard for him," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He even said once he's over the pain and he can't do anything, that's going to be tough for him, too, because he's going to be ready to go but he knows he's done for a while."
The catcher hasn't been doing a whole lot of moving lately, as he has mostly stayed in his rental home in Orinda, Calif. The house has provided its own share of issues for Posey; though it is only a one-story home, it's also on a hill, which has made getting around a little more difficult, Posey has turned his attention to moving into a more convenient living situation in Contra Costa County.
"It's great to have him here, see him and talk to him. I hate to see him like this, but it's good to have him around," Bochy said. "The guys were hoping he'd come in today so they would have a chance to talk to him and spend some time.
"I think it'll be big for him and the guys to have him around as much as we can, because he's going to have to do some stuff, too -- rehab. But also, it'll be good for him to hang around the guys and talk, instead of staying at home and having this on your mind all the time."
Posey spent much of his time speaking with shortstop Brandon Crawford and recent callup Conor Gillaspie, as the three were among the Giants' top four picks in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Posey said he has been particularly impressed with Crawford's smoothness at the plate and in the field. He even texted Crawford after his Major League debut, which included a grand slam, to say the shortstop is his new favorite Giant.
"I've been having a blast watching him on TV. It's so cool to see how comfortable he is," Posey said. "It's hard to put into words. To me, shortstop is one of the hardest positions on the field. I've played shortstop. Just on a routine ground ball, you're making a long throw. For him to come out and do what he's done, it says a lot to the confidence he has in his game."
With all the recent controversy surrounding Posey's home-plate collision with Scott Cousins, the issue of catcher safety and how the Giants will bounce back from losing one of their brightest stars, Bochy once again emphasized his desire that Major League Baseball look into rule changes to protect catchers and, almost speaking with a sense of finality, said the club is moving on.
"I talked to Buster about that, too. He wants to move on. We all do. It's a shame what happened, but you have to move on," Bochy said. "Unfortunately, some negative stuff has come out of this, and that's the sad part of it. I'm hoping some positive will come out of this. As I've mentioned, maybe we'll look at changing something there at home plate to where we can protect these guys a little bit. It's not what the game's about, to see somebody busted up.
"This would be debated, and my God, I took my licks, so I don't want to hear that I haven't been there. But I've stood over enough catchers who can't move that are in a lot of pain that I just don't like seeing it. I hope we do find a way to protect them a little bit."
Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.