Brian Sabean should apologize to Scott Cousins

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  • Brian Sabean
    American baseball executive

Brian Sabean, going on 55 years old and the longest-tenured general manager in baseball, should know better than to call out Scott Cousins(notes) from behind a desk at AT&T Park.

Before he turns this on the many messengers who will view his radio rant – that Cousins’ collision with Buster Posey(notes) was “malicious,” “premeditated” and retribution worthy – as unnecessarily incendiary and wholly misguided, Sabean would better serve himself and his San Francisco Giants organization with an apology to Cousins and the Florida Marlins.

Whatever the debatable shades of sportsmanship that could have spared Posey’s season (and perhaps the Giants’ title defense) – and the Giants have had their say on the matter – Sabean has been wrong in both his view of the play and his reaction to it.

He’s certainly allowed his opinion and emotion. And he would be less than human were he not disappointed for Posey, concerned about where this leaves his Giants, and even determined to protect catchers similarly undone.

But on the topic of maliciousness and premeditation, Sabean has so far outrun any malice Cousins may or may not have intended eight days ago as to become borderline criminal.

If I understand Sabean’s words and intent, he’s put a hit out on Scott Cousins.

He told KNBR:

“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. If that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal.”

And, “We’ll have a long memory.”

Be upset, Brian. Feel sympathy for Buster Posey. Change the game, if you can. View the replay as often as you’d like.

The throw from outfielder Nate Schierholtz(notes), Cousins running, the in-between hop, the moment where it appears Posey will catch the ball, close off the plate, and Cousins will be out, then Cousins with his right arm around Posey’s waist, trying to help, hoping to comfort, sick over the result.

Is that the image of a man with malice in his heart?

Is that who Brian Sabean wants to take out?

The guy who played the game by the rule, the guy who pushed as hard to score the run as Sabean’s catcher braced to prevent it?

Is that what the long memory is for?

Scott Cousins, the ballplayer whose career Sabean is rooting against? The ballplayer receiving death threats? That guy?

Cousins’ teammate, Logan Morrison(notes), told an audience with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that he received text messages from "a lot of" Giants who believed the play was clean.

One of the texts read, "Tell the kid to keep playing hard," according to Morrison.

Sabean, from behind his desk, believes otherwise. His reputation is as a baseball man deliberate in his thought process, who doesn’t act or speak without thinking it through first. The Giants, top to bottom, stand for each other, defend each other, and let the rest fall where it may. Sabean is good like that. They’re all good like that.

This, however, is unfathomable recklessness from Sabean. For better or worse, that play was settled on the field, Cousins storming straight down the foul line, Posey willing to meet him at the plate, it all ending badly for Posey, the Giants and, yes, Scott Cousins.

"It’s terrible," Morrison said on radio of Sabean’s conclusions. "Why would you wish anything like that on anybody? He doesn’t know who Scott Cousins as a person is. And the thing is … [Cousins] lives with me when we're at home. I know the type of guy Scott Cousins is. … He’s taking this very hard without the comments that [Sabean] made.

"This is his hometown, San Francisco. He’s worried about his family and his friends that are there. And now he’s going to make comments like that? It’s ignorant, it’s inappropriate and he has no idea what he’s talking about."

Normally a reasonable man, Sabean let his grief run its mouth for a few regrettable minutes. It's put Cousins at the plate one day this summer, and some Giants pitcher standing 60 feet away, with a chance to carry out Sabean's edict.

I hope, for the sake of Cousins, and as much for the sake of Brian Sabean, that everybody gets back to playing baseball.

After all, playing the game is what started this.

Apologize, Brian. Honor the game, honor your catcher and honor yourself. And apologize.