Well, we've got a situation developing in Spring Training, and I have to say, I'm not on the Yanks' side for this one. Today, the Yanks double-A catcher, Francisco Cervelli, fractured his wrist on a collision at the plate with Tampa Bay's Elliot Johnson.
Joe Girardi is not happy with the Rays. Here's his quote from the LoHud Yankees Blog
: "I think it’s uncalled for in spring training. You get people hurt and that’s what we got, we got Cervelli hurt."
Here's my problem, this was not a dirty play. Johnson didn't go out of his way or take a cheap shot. Cervelli did a good job of blocking the plate, Johnson bowled him over. A 100% clean play has Girardi steaming because it's Spring Training. This is crap. Yes, it's the ninth inning of a Spring Training game, but what kind of message are they trying to send? These are kids who are trying to make the team, are they supposed to play aggressively, or are they supposed to follow some unwritten set of rules so no one gets hurt?
I say you play the game the way it's meant to be played whenever you step on the field, outside of the All Star game, I guess. These games may not mean anything to established veterans, but they mean a whole lot to the guys who are trying to make their dreams come true. Say Johnson had pulled up and let Cervelli tag him out, that might stick in the back of the mind of his manager, or one of the coaches. Injuries happen. Sometimes baseball is a violent game. Girardi was a catcher in this league, he knows the risks associated with the tools of ignorance.
I feel bad for Cervelli in the same way I feel bad for a guy who blows his arm out throwing a slider, or tears his knee up chasing down a gapper. It's part of the game, but there's no one to blame. I hope there's no retaliation when the Yanks take on the Rays on Wednesday.