On Wednesday night Colby Rasmus started a bit of a fire in the baseball community by a slide into Second-base. Rasmus slid to break up a double play and took out Omar Infante. Watch the play here if you haven’t seen it.
So, what do we have in that play?
Just a good, hard slide. Hustle. Hardnosed play. The thing that everyone apparently wants in sports.
In a world where a majority of fans regularly decry the “pussification” of American sports fans sure love to jump all over someone at any perceived “dirty” play or hit.
What is dirty? Why is that play dirty? Was it the late slide? Was it the fact that Infante rolled around on the ground after he got a bruise? Or was it the fact that Colby Rasmus is a known asshole?
The Tigers wasted no time in complaining to the media, something Jim Leyland should get an award for at this stage in his career.
Torii Hunter made it known that he is a veteran guy,
I’m a veteran guy. I want to win. It ain’t about stats. It ain’t about selfishness. I want to win. And when you take out a guy dirty like that, I’m upset.
Max Scherzer ever chimed in,
If MLB can look at me and judge whether I hit [a batter intentionally] and I should get a suspension, well, can’t MLB look at him and judge he should get a suspension.
Are we serious with this crap? I understand being emotional but we’re getting just a bit over the to, no?
Who of you out there haven’t seen a late slide by someone on your favorite team? You cheered right? How many have seen an opponent slide into your team’s 2B? You were pissed about missing out on a potential double play, right?
Late slides are part of the game. Colby Rasmus appears to understand that, and the ramifications.
Jason Beck at MLB.com has a nice quote from Rasmus,
Rasmus has a history of hard slides at second, so the effort to break up the double play wasn’t out of the ordinary.
“I just treated it like any other time when I’m on first base,” Rasmus said. “Rajai hit a ground ball, so I was coming in hard trying to break up the double play. Nothing was different.”
Rasmus also seems to understand what could be in store for him and, unlike the whimpering Tigers, accepts it for what it is. Part of the game.
I’m going up there ready to hit. If they hit me, that’s part of the game too. Take it, put some ice on it, and go on about my business.