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You're exactly right on this. I think that there's a lot going on here, but it probably comes down to the fact that the yanks lineup is set, while tampa's isn't -- these games mean different things to each team. And in the absence of a manager-manager agreement about it, Joe Maddon's guys have every right to play like it matters, because for them it does.

I think that Girardi would have a right to be mad if one of *his* guys slid against orders, but the play was completely reasonable, and if Joe doesn't want anyone getting hurt, he should have instructed cervelli to get out of the way on close plays.

Exactly, but he's never going to tell his guy to do that. Blocking the plate is an important part of the game, if they don't practice it in Spring Training when are they supposed to practice it? Just ridiculous that Girardi took this stance. Reminds me of Bob Brenly getting pissed when Ben Davis bunted for a single when Curt Schilling had a no-hitter in the 8th inning of a game. Schowalter went nuts, but it was a 1-0 game. Unwritten rules are B.S. sometimes.

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Mathers on Mar 9 at 19:11
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It's not ridiculous at all. It's the Yankee's; it's a given for this franchise to make a comment after something like that happens. Joe's just trying to prove he can fit in which is what it looks like to me.

Eh, I don't really think that's the case. The Yanks usually don't say anything when another team does something questionable or dirty. They've seen their best players get beaned a disproportionate number of times and you don't see them making comments or threats. I can't remember Torre ever saying anything like this. I think it was just Girardi trying to show his players that he's sticking up for them, and choosing the wrong situation to do it.

I understand that argument, but htink about it from a broader perspective.

Yes, you want to send a message to play hard, and not be lazy, and yes it's how you play the game.

But...

Baseball is Cervilli's livelihood. It's his job, it's how he is paid. So you endanger someone's livelihood for one play which may have a very very small effect on a manager's (maddon)opinion on whether or not you should make the team? do the pro's of doing that really outweight the cons?

I think it's a very slippery slope. Where do you draw the line, are you not supposed to break up double plays in the Spring because you might take out someone's knee? Should your pitchers avoid pitching inside because someone could get hit?

I realize this is taking it too far, but blocking the plate is an important part of the game. If your catchers don't experience it during practice (spring training), they won't know how to do it when the games count. If your runners don't know how to, or when to, bowl the catcher over that might cost you a game or two during the regular season.

Like I said, I feel bad for Cervelli, but like you said, this is his livelihood. He understands the risks and I'd actually like to hear what he has to say about it. My bet would be that he was expecting it, and just caught a bad break, no pun intended.


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