I was too tired to keep watching when it was 3-2 in the 8th. I figured the Giants might claw out a run in the 9th to send it to extras, but I wasn't going to stay up and watch. Hell, I work for a living. I get up at the crack of dawn. I decided to put baseball on the back burner for a night and feel fresh in the morning. The top of the 9th would have sent me to bed anyway, even if I had decided to stay up. A one-run deficit with a team that can't hit is one thing, a four-run deficit is quite another. Naturally, the Giants mounted one of their greatest-ever comebacks to force extras. And I missed it.
And then the worst possible thing happened. Well, not quite. Tim Lincecum getting hurt would be worse. Or Matt Cain. But Buster Posey getting hurt--seriously hurt--is damn close to the worst possible thing that could happen. After all, he's not just the Giants best hitter and one of their best fielders. He's their best player. And he's part of the pitching staff, the motor that runs this whole operation. Most of the position players on the club are perfectly replaceable. I know that sounds harsh, but in the cold, hard, early-morning light you and I both know that's true. Posey isn't. The Giants can't replace what he brings to the club. Sure, you can put the tools of ignorance on some guy and put him back there to catch pitches, but that's all he will do. He won't bring the rest of the skills--and the intangibles--that Posey brings to the game.
I'm glad I missed it. It would have kept me awake all night. It's already going to ruin my day, my week, and perhaps the whole season. It's worse for Buster, of course. He can't do what he's paid to do. Any time any athlete gets hurt they have to face the possibility that their livelihood is in jeopardy. I don't think it's that kind of injury, but you never know. All I can say, and wish for personally, is that he's OK. He's OK for his sake--I never like to see guys get hurt. Even guys I hate on teams I hate. That's not why I watch the game. I watch to see guys do shit that's impossible for me to do--I find that sort of thing most entertaining. And Buster is one to watch. His grace, sangfroid, and athleticism make an irresistible package. He's even good with a microphone and camera in his face. Hell, he's one of the best I've ever seen doing that media stuff--composed, articulate, relaxed. It's hard to believe he's only 24 years old.
This is a blow, a huge, huge blow to the club. It's going to require the rest of the team to pick up the slack. To paraphrase George Scott, the pitchers are going to have to pitch better, the fielders are going to have to field better, the hitters are going to have to hit better, the coaches are going to have to coach better, the manager is going to have to manage better, and the owners are going to have to own better.
Let's hope they do.