Posey gets Aaron honor from the man himself
DETROIT The hardware keeps accumulating for Buster Posey. Before Game 3 Saturday night, the Giants' catcher was presented with this year's Hank Aaron Award.
The presenter: Aaron himself.
"I'm just humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am," Posey said. "Growing up in Georgia he's a legend everywhere, but even more so there."
Since 1999, the award has been given each year to the most outstanding offensive player in each league. This year is the first that both recipients are playing in the World Series the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, who this season became the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown, received the American League award.
Posey led the majors with a .336 average to become the first National League catcher to win a batting title since Ernie Lombardi in 1942 a feat that impressed Aaron, the former outfielder who slugged 755 home runs in his career.
"It's not easy when you squat behind the plate for nine innings and then go out and hit .300," Aaron said.
Aaron and Commissioner Bud Selig, who sat alongside Posey on a platform for the pregame announcement, also lauded Posey for his return from last year's season-ending ankle injury. Posey finished with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs and was named the N.L. Comeback Player of the Year.
"You know last year when you got hurt, everybody was saying, is he going to come back?" Aaron said. "And you came back, not only winning the batting crown, but hitting .300 and leading your team to the World Series."
In his big-league playing career spanning parts of nine seasons, Giants manager Bruce Bochy got one at-bat in the World Series, as a member of the San Diego Padres in 1984. It came in the ninth inning of the final game, in Detroit. He singled.
The Padres and Tigers split the first two games of that series before it moved to Detroit, where the Tigers won three in a row, including a clincher that was marred somewhat by a riot afterward outside Tiger Stadium.
"I had a tough memory trying to leave here. It got a little crazy," Bochy said. "But overall, great experience, good time here.
"I got one at-bat, and I was thrilled that (manager) Dick Williams put me in there."
Leyland credits Bochy
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he "never really (gets) hung up in managing against anybody," but he did think Bochy deserved a nod for starting left-handers Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner in the first two games of the series.
The Tigers hit .253 against left-handers this season, compared with an MLB-best .275 against right-handers.
"I thought they made a good move," Leyland said of the Giants. "They read, obviously."
Zito remains in line to start Game 5 if necessary, while Bumgarner, his mechanical issues apparently behind him, would ostensibly come back in Game 6, should the Series get that far.