Joe Torre, who oversees baseball operations for Major League Baseball, plans to call Brian Sabean regarding comments the San Francisco Giants general manager made in a Thursday radio interview, a source told ESPN on Friday.
Sabean called the much-discussed May 25 collision at home plate between the Florida Marlins' Scott Cousins and Buster Posey, which resulted in a season-ending injury to the Giants catcher, "malicious" on KNBR of San Francisco. Sabean said he did not blame Posey for refusing to return an apologetic phone call.
"Why not be hard-nosed?" Sabean told the radio station. "If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."
Sabean did not back down later in the interview; rather, he left little doubt that the Giants are planning on exacting some on-field revenge against Cousins.
"He chose to be a hero, in my mind, and if that's his flash of fame, that's as good as it's going to get, pal. We'll have a long memory," Sabean told KNBR. "Believe me, we've talked to (former catcher Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can't be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I'll put it as politically as I can state it: There's no love lost and there shouldn't be."
Cousins responded to Sabean's comments through his agent, Matt Sosnick, on Friday.
"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. I have reached out to Buster to let him know how badly I feel about his being injured during our collision at home plate.
I do believe, however, that the play was clean and totally within the rules of the game. 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. Please understand and respect that these are my only comments on the incident," he said.
Posey suffered three torn ligaments in his ankle and broke a bone in his lower left leg when Cousins collided with him at the plate in San Francisco's 12-inning loss to the Marlins.
Posey, the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, had surgery Sunday to repair the torn ligaments in his ankle. He
had two screws inserted into his lower leg to stabilize the ankle in an operation that lasted about 90 minutes.
The Giants remain optimistic Posey will be ready for Opening Day next season but admit he has a long road ahead.
Sosnick said Thursday that he understood Sabean's anger.
"It's an emotional time for the Giants and I understand Brian's disappointment," Sosnick told ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson. "But his opinion is in the vast minority. It's a play within the rules and I imagine his opinion would be vastly different if Posey ran over (Marlins catcher John) Buck on a legal play and Buck was injured."
Sosnick confirmed to ESPN.com Thursday night his client had received death threats since his collision with Posey last week, and MLB's security department was notified.
"It's just enough," Sosnick said of the criticism leveled at his client. "Scott can't say (enough) he's sorry that it happened."
Posey hit .284 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 45 games. Last year, Posey was recalled from the minors in late May and hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs in 108 games.
Information from ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney and ESPN.com staff writer Amy K. Nelson contributed to this report.