The Giants told Buster Posey to stop blocking the plate

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Buster Posey says he wasn’t exactly blocking the plate last year when Scott Cousins ran into him, breaking Posey’s ankle and ending his season.  It kinda looked like he was poised to — and he was close enough to doing it to where it didn’t matter — but he says he wasn’t blocking the plate. OK.

But no matter what he was doing, the Giants have reiterated their desire to have Posey avoid coming even close. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com:

Bruce Bochy has forbidden Buster Posey from blocking the plate. The Giants’ manager confirmed it on Sunday, and much will be made of that decision. But here is one more vital scrap of information: Posey was under the same order the night that Florida’s Scott Cousins speared him like a tackling dummy.

Bochy and other Giants officials had sat down Posey for that “let’s be smart about this” conversation 10 months before the May 25 game in which he sustained three ripped ankle ligaments and a fractured bone in his leg.

So this year I guess it’s a “let’s be smarter about this” conversation. A “seriously, dude, swipe tags from four feet or else we’re taking away your mask” kind of talk. A “don’t get any closer to the runner than you did to actually being safe on that steal attempt in the 2010 NLDS but were called safe anyway” talk.

This will bug the old school purist types who love to see collisions at the plate, but if I were a manager I’d make it a standing order to all of my catchers, whether they were offensive assets like Posey or simply regular old catchers.  One run is never worth a big injury to a catcher. Look around the league and see how few decent ones there are and you’ll know why. They’re valuable.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”