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Buster Posey Makes Surprise, Under-the-Radar Return


I've already done sentimental and treacly when it comes to Buster Posey. There shouldn't be a point in hitting that same gong over and over again. You get it. He's good, he's on the Giants, and he's as close to personally responsible for the Giants winning the World Series as almost any player can get.

But hearing Posey's name announced over the radio, seeing a picture of him on the field, listening to a play-by-play account of his return … this whole injury thing is something Giants fans will never explain properly to non-Giants fans. It's something that we'll never be able to explain properly to future Giants fans. I've read about what it was like to watch Willie Mays, I've seen the videos, and I've read the biographies, but I'll never get it. There will never be a way where I can feel the same connection to Willie Mays as does someone who was watching him zip around the Polo Grounds in '54.

That isn't to compare Posey to Mays. I'm high on fumes from Posey's return, but I'm not an idiot. But I don't think it's too sacrilegious to compare how hard it will be to explain your fanaticism to people who didn't get to see it. I don't dislike Bengie Molina at all -- I still get a little misty when I watch him tear up as he's introduced in Game 1 of the 2010 World Series -- but he wasn't an easy baseball player to watch, and he played for Giants teams that weren't easy to watch. He was not the Platonic ideal of a baseball player. His teams were not the Platonic ideal of a baseball team.

Posey was. The 2010 Giants were. Posey came up, did everything a baseball player was supposed to do, and the Giants did something I honestly never thought they'd do in my lifetime. There were a lot of chapters to the story, but the spine was all Buster Posey. The Giants had to lose a lot of games to be in a position to draft Posey. I watched every one. And when he came up (on the same day that the Giants signed Pat Burrell), it was … hell, I don't know how to put it. It was like somebody blew on the Nintendo cartridge in my baseball-loving soul. Wait, that's stupid. I'll come back to that one.

The post-Bonds morass was finally gone when Posey arrived. Even if the Giants didn't win the World Series, there still would have been a connection. But they also won the World Series. So even if Posey is forced to move to first base in the near future, even if he turns into a two-WAR player whose best comp is a right-handed Sean Casey, he'll still be one of the most popular Giants players of all-time.

And if that happens, in 40 years some snot-nosed little turd will be looking up 4-D WAR with his gammaphone and mind-typing things like "Posey wasn't really that good according to this, y'all." And a few of the people who were around to watch Posey will frame the kid for murder. They'll have no choice. Posey is interwoven with the fabric of our Giants -- the specific era of Giants baseball with which most of us will identify most in our lifetime -- in ways we'll never be able to explain without seeming creepy and overzealous.

That's why today is a good day. Buster Posey went 0-1. A runner stole a base on him. You're still cleared to stare at the box score for a while and read all of the post-game recaps, even if you know exactly what they're going to say. You get it. I get it. No one else will get it. Accept it and appreciate it. And welcome back, Buster Posey. Damn, it feels good to type that.