Nearly 12 years ago, Giants fans watched in horror as the reigning NL Rookie of the Year suffered a gut-wrenching injury at home plate.
On May 25, 2011, Scott Cousins of the then-Florida Marlins raced home as he attempted to tag up on a pop fly at Oracle Park, which was AT&T Park at the time. He plowed into a 24-year-old Buster Posey as the catcher attempted to make a tag, fracturing Posey's fibula and tearing multiple ligaments in his ankle.
Posey, now just a month shy of his 36th birthday, hasn't personally spoken to Cousins since that day. He went on to have a legendary Giants career despite the injury, and he recently told The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly he would be willing to have a conversation with Cousins.
"I most definitely would be open to a dialogue with him," Posey told Baggarly. "It was one of those things. In the moment, I didn’t want to talk right away. There was a lot of frustration on my part. But I’d most definitely have a conversation with him."
The day after the collision at home plate, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reported Cousins was in tears discussing Posey's injury.
"It’s everywhere," Cousins said, per Capozzi (h/t Bleacher Report). "No matter where I look. It’s on TV as a soon as I turn the TV on. It’s outside on TV. It’s on TV here as soon as I walk in. And when I see it I turn away. I just don't like knowing that I could have possibly ended somebody’s season."
In the aftermath of Posey's injury, Giants then-general manager Brian Sabean said the collision was "malicious" and "premeditated" on Cousins' part, prompting a press release from the Giants the next day that said the comments "were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins" (h/t Sun Sentinel).
In short, it was a trying time for everyone involved, from fans of both franchises to the two players at the controversy's center. New home plate rules have been established since then, and wounds have healed after all this time -- both figuratively and literally.
In his conversation with Baggarly, Posey revealed what he would say to Cousins if the two were to have a conversation today.
"Well, I’d have to talk to him first," Posey said. "Figure out what he’s been doing the last 10 or 11 years, how he processed that play. I don’t know. I’ve never talked to him.
"But … I hope he’s not carrying a burden. That’s what I would tell him. And if I could help him in some way to not carry that burden, that’s what I would want to say to him."
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Posey went on to enjoy a 12-year MLB career after the collision, earning two more World Series championships in 2012 and 2014 to go with San Francisco's first in 2010. He was named the National League's MVP and Comeback Player of the Year in 2012, and he retired following the 2021 season with a bevy of awards on his shelf.
He said he doesn't believe the injury shortened his career, though Giants fans certainly wish their homegrown slugger still was on the field.
Now, in an ownership role, Posey has his sights set on San Francisco's future -- though it never hurts to revisit the past.