The Maturation of Buster

The Maturation of Buster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. When Buster Posey made his big-league debut with the Giants late last season, he looked every bit the wide-eyed rookie.Hes still a rookie, technically, but wide-eyed hes not. Hes not exactly baby-faced anymore, either. Young Buster did some serious growing up over the winter.Last fall he looked like hed won some sort of Hang with the Giants contest at a local high school. Fresh off a season that made him the Minor League Player of the Year, he roamed the Giants clubhouse and dugout trying not to look a little awed.On Thursday, the first day of actual structured workouts at Scottsdale Stadium, Posey walked not timidly but with a purpose, a confidence, an almost imperceptible swagger.Being named the Minor League Player of the Year will do that for a fella. Posey didnt just live up to expectations in 2009. He crushed them by crushing the ball the way everybody in the organization hoped he would.Oddly enough, though, Poseys success -- and, of course, Bengie Molinas unexpected return -- has created an nice little drama that will play out over the next six weeks in the desert.Bengie is the starting catcher, no question about it, and conventional wisdom suggests that Posey, long touted the Catcher of the Future by the Giants, needs to be behind the plate every day somewhere at this stage in his career. That means a ticket to Triple-A Fresno, right?Not so fast. This is a team, remember, that needs all the offense it can get. What happens if Posey is the best hitter on the team down here? You cant send the reigning Minor League Player of the Year back to the minors after he hits .420 at big-league camp, can you?Probably not, and thats why the Giants plan to bounce Posey around the infield a little bit this spring. He was a stud shortstop as a freshman in college before Florida State turned him into a catcher, so theres little doubt hell be able to transition back, and Travis Ishikawas toe injury surely means Posey will get some reps at first base.Asked about playing on the infield Thursday, Posey said hes down for whatever, but he also made it clear that he prefers catching above all else.For 2010, though, he might not have a choice. If his bat plays, as scouts like to say, at this level, the Giants need Buster to play -- somewhere, anywhere -- with them. --Mychael Urban
What's your take? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'


Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

C.C. Sabathia couldn't save the Yankees' 2017 season. And now he has a decision to make.

After nine seasons in New York, the 37-year-old hits the free agent market this winter.

With career earnings nearing $250 million and a 2009 World Series ring already on his resume, would the Vallejo-native consider coming home to play for the A's? That's a question that was posed to Insider Joe Stiglich last week.

While it's a possibility, based on comments after Saturday's ALCS Game 7 loss to the Astros, it sounds like Sabathia doesn't want to leave The Bronx.

“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great. This is my home, and I want to see this thing through," Sabathia told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.

After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.

After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.

"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.

"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."

Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.

Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.

"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.