Buster Posey was carted through a tunnel at AT&T Park on Thursday, a makeshift cast covering his left ankle and no emotion on his face.
Not exactly the exit the cornerstone of the World Series champion Giants wanted this season.
A night after Florida's Scott Cousins crashed into him at home plate, San Francisco's star catcher was put on the disabled list because of a fractured bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, likely ending his season and putting a major dent in the Giants' chances of repeating.
"You just don't replace a guy like Buster Posey," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher who was so stricken by the news he called on Major League Baseball to review rule changes for collisions at the plate.
As word spread throughout the clubhouse, players began to come to grips with what Posey's injury meant.
The normally blaring speakers near bearded closer Brian Wilson's locker were uncharacteristically silent. Televisions were turned off. No one was playing dominoes or card games.
Hard to imagine a more important position player than Posey to replace.
Posey has been San Francisco's cleanup hitter, a team leader and key cog behind the plate for one of baseball's best rotations. The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year was batting .284 with four home runs and 21 RBIs, just finding his groove in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak to move the Giants into the NL West lead.
"It's part of baseball, I understand that, guys running into catchers. Being a catcher, I've been in a few of them. You're in harm's way there," Bochy said. "I think we do need to consider changing the rules here a little bit because the catcher is so vulnerable and there's so many who have gotten hurt. And not just a little bit, had their careers ended or shortened. And here's a guy who's very popular in baseball. Fans want to see him play.
"Now he's out for a while."
An MRI confirmed Posey had a fractured left fibula and three torn ligaments in his left ankle, Giants trainer Dave Groeschner said. Posey will seek a specialist to perform surgery.
MAN DIES FROM FALL AT ROCKIES GAME: A 27-year-old man who fell about 20 feet and struck his head on concrete during the seventh inning of a Colorado Rockies game has been declared dead, authorities said Thursday.
Witnesses told police that the man had been trying to slide down a staircase railing at Coors Field and lost his balance during Tuesday afternoon's game between the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.
The Denver coroner's office identified the man Thursday as Robert Seamans of Pueblo, Colo.
LOWE'S DUI CHARGES DISMISSED: DUI and reckless driving charges have been dismissed against Braves pitcher Derek Lowe.
One of Lowe's attorneys, Cory Yager, said Thursday that solicitor Raines Carter, the chief prosecutor in Atlanta Municipal Court, agreed to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence.
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