A catcher’s intuition is always to cover and protect home. It’s a Father’s too: Buster Posey opts-out the 2020 season

Buster Posey’s baseball legacy in San Francisco will forever be associated with three World Series championships, three moments of pure elation and three celebratory parade routes that left the city covered in confetti.

On Thursday night confetti got stuck in Posey’s hair once again, but not for his accomplishments on the field. This time the celebration was private. The confetti was cut up construction paper made by Posey’s 8 year old twins. As life events go, the Thursday night celebration was more meaningful than any of his World Series rings.

While sitting at home, Buster and his wife Kristen Posey received word that their adoption of newborn twin girls had been finalized. Their names are Ada and Libbi and they were born prematurely — at 32 weeks, or roughly five weeks earlier than typical full-term twins.

July 3rd, marked the day these two babies were born, and also the first day of San Francisco Giants Summer camp. Posey missed that first workout. He missed two more this past Wednesday and Thursday for what the team described as personal reasons. There was a growing sense that he would decide to opt out of playing in 2020. Well that growing sense would become official on Friday as Posey made the decision to sit out the 2020 season.

“I can’t sit here and tell you what’s the right answer to this or the wrong answer to this, but after weighing it for a long time, talking to doctors, I just feel like in the current state we are right now, and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months at minimum, this ultimately wasn’t that difficult a decision for me,” Posey said. “From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I’m making a decision to protect children — our children — I think it was relatively easy.”

Posey might not say it, but there was a right answer in this scenario and he made it. But his decision thought process should come as no surprise.

A catcher’s intuition is always to cover and protect home. It’s a father’s intuition, too. That is exactly what he is doing with this decision, protecting his literal home.

The Poseys made the decision to adopt several years ago and the process, as it does for so many prospective parents, included so many rising hopes and crushing disappointments. At one point, they welcomed a baby into their home and cared for it for a few days only to receive the news that the birth family had changed its mind. This time around the Posey’s were ready for all possible outcomes that could derail their adoption process, but remained optimistic.

What they couldn’t have seen coming was welcoming preemies into their family amid a pandemic.

Posey said the babies are healthy but will remain in a neonatal intensive care unit for several weeks. Their immune systems will be highly compromised for at least four months.

Risking himself to playing and traveling amid a pandemic was never a viable option for him, even before the babies were born premature. He still has a life and 8 year old twins at home. The birth of the premature twins was the final straw in making his decision to opt out official.

When Posey informed the team of his decision, he was met with nothing but support. Club president Farhan Zaidi conducted his Zoom interview in front of a playpen with his son, Jazz. They held up a sign that read, “We love you Buster.”

The Giants released a statement of their own regarding Posey’s decision to opt out. The message was clear: This is an organization that prioritizes family, especially now.

“On behalf of the entire Giants family and organization, we want to congratulate you and your family and say we wholeheartedly support your decision.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler called Posey’s decision “a no-brainer.”

“A lot of people around baseball will say ‘family first,’” Kapler said. “It’s important we put that into action by throwing our support and making these decisions easier for players, knowing they’ll have the support of the leadership in the organization.”

Outfielder Hunter Pence said the clubhouse was fully behind Posey as well.

“Everyone understands these are two lives that are high risk,” Pence said. “That’s a tough weight to put on your soul to be coming to play baseball and risking their lives. It’s a tough weight on everyone’s soul.”

Zaidi added that any player who chooses to opt out of the season will be supported, regardless of the reason.

“It was an obvious and easy call for Buster and the fact he took some time to think it through shows his dedication and loyalty to his teammates and how much he loves the game and loves to play,” Zaidi said. “More broadly, this is an individual decision. I don’t think it’s fair to create some standards … that warrant opting out. We have to support every individual’s decision.”

We could get into the baseball aspect of things but I don’t feel like that’s all that important right now. To keep it brief Posey’s absence will have an immense impact on the Giants because he is their franchise player.

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