Many of you know that I am a Mets fan, and as big a Yankee hater as they come. With that being said, I felt I should watch each of the two plays that occurred and to see what really happened. Watch them in slow motion and read the comments. I have watched them since myself, and have come to the determination that Joe Girardi is just like any other manager: a mouthpiece for his team with sinking credibility.
It started with the slide where his catcher broke his wrist. Elliot Johnson of the Tampa Bay Rays was involved in a violent collision with Yankees catcher Fransisco Cervelli, with Cervelli breaking his wrist. Girardi states, "I think it's uncalled for. It's spring training." Folks, these are two guys that are trying to make an impression on their respective teams. As Don Zimmer put it, "That is how the game is played." Girardi wouldn't have said a word if one of his players was running and injured the opponents' catcher, and evidenced by the very next incident.
Shelley Duncan, in the next matchup against the Rays, was heading for second trying to extend a single into a double. He went into his slide at second base with spikes high, and his spikes flew into second baseman Akinori Iwamura, opening a gash over his leg and sparking a bench clearing brawl.
After the game, Duncan insisted that his slide wasn't dirty. "There's nothing dirty about it in my eyes," Duncan said. "There were no spikes up in my eyes. Nothing at all intended to hurt [Iwamura]." And then Mr. Girardi, Mr. High Road, stating previously that running into the catcher was too aggressive for Spring Training, all of a sudden loves agressive play. "I assume it's over, but you move on," Girardi said. "Shelley's an aggressive player. Some players won't play that aggressive during Spring Training. That's who he is. He grew up around the game and in the clubhouse every day." Who is kidding who here??
Duncan states he was trying to knock the ball out of Iwamura's hands, and then Girardi reviewed the tape and agreed. "The way he reacted when he slid leads me to believe that's what he was trying to do," Girardi said. "If there was malicious intent, I think he would have popped right up. Shelley laid there."
Let's think about this for a second. If Duncan was "trying to knock the ball out of his hands", why are we spiking the guy in the leg? Is the ball held by the leg? Last time I checked it was held in the glove. If he really wanted to knock it out, go after the glove. Slide like you are going to take him out, knock him down; don't go in spikes flying like you are going to cut his jugular with them.
And Girardi, he has the nerve to criticize one player for aggresiveness, and praise his own for the same issue? Hard nosed baseball is allowed by his team, but not against his team? You know what? Joe Girardi and Hank Steinbrenner deserve each other. May they lose as much as possible, and I know that when Joe Girardi takes a stand like this again, it has zero credibility in my book.