06/03/11 9:28 PM ET
Torre 'willing to listen' to Giants on collision rules
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Bochy, like Torre a former big league catcher, said he's in favor of new rules to protect catchers from being banged around."We're close to somebody getting hit in the neck area and getting paralyzed," Bochy said. "These guys coming in hard, that's part of the game. I was a catcher. I've been hit. Believe me, I know that. It's time that we do tweak this a little bit and protect these guys." Torre didn't sound upset about the comments, in general, or Sabean's, in particular. "Obviously they have an emotional attachment, and I can understand that," Torre said. "I spoke to Brian Sabean today and Bochy yesterday, and I told them I'd be willing to sit with them and whoever they want to invite to discuss it. I told them that I didn't see anything that had to be changed, but I certainly would be open to listening to them. I think they just want discussion." For their part, the Giants tried to clarify Sabean's comments on Friday. The club released a five-paragraph statement saying that Sabean had spoken to Torre, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and had "reached out" to Cousins. "Brian Sabean's comments yesterday were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins," the Giants said. "The issue of catcher safety is a complicated one. There are a number of differing opinions around the circumstances of last week's collision and about what baseball should do to prevent serious injuries in the future. This issue goes far beyond last week's incident as there have been a number of recent collision-involved injuries. "We have been in contact with Joe Torre and have asked for a thorough examination of this issue for the health and safety of all players." Torre played 19 years in the big leagues and was largely a catcher for the first 10 seasons. He caught his last game in 1970. He also managed 29 years, retiring last season after three years with the Dodgers. He assumed his current post in February. Torre said he could understand the Giants' frustration. "They're obviously looking for something that could protect the catchers a little more," he said. "The best thing I could do was relate my experiences as both a player and a manager. It's my job that if somebody wants to have a discussion about something I'm certainly sensitive to that and I'm willing to do it." Asked what experiences he related, Torre added with a laugh: "Getting my bell rung a few times. The catching position is one that when you decide to put on that equipment there are certain things that go along with it. Sometimes people get hurt. It's certainly devastating what happened to Buster. I don't want to make light of that by any stretch of the imagination. It's just very unfortunate."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.