The look on Joe Girardi’s face said plenty. Then he had plenty to say about the play in the ninth inning when Tampa Bay’s Elliot Johnson rolled into Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli.
“I think itâ€™s uncalled for in spring training. You get people hurt and thatâ€™s what we got, we got Cervelli hurt,” Girardi said.
Carl Crawford of the Rays ran over a Houston catcher on Wednesday. Now there has been a second incident. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon dismissed it as a “good hardball” when he spoke to the Tampa Bay writers. But Girardi didn’t agree.
“Iâ€™ve always known that you donâ€™t do it. I know kids play aggressive and play hard. Thatâ€™s how you want them to play. But maybe if it happens too much you should mention something,” he said.
Cervelli was taken to St. Joseph Hospital for x-rays. The Yankees are fearful that he has a broken right hand or wrist.
“Itâ€™s one thing to get hit by a pitch that gets away or twist an ankle running the bases. I donâ€™t understand it,â€ said Girardi, who felt Johnson should have simply slid into the plate. “I donâ€™t understand it. During the season Iâ€™m all for. It happens in the season, I understand it. In spring training, I donâ€™t really.”
Johnson had no remorse: “From my point of view, I’m trying to score a run. … His left foot was right there blocking the plate. My options were to hook around and slide and I thought that would take too much time and I would be out,” he said.
Several New York writers waited to ask Maddon questions but he hid in his office and sent a team spokesman out to say he wouldn’t answer any questions.
The Yankees play the Rays three more times this spring. Bet on there being some sort of reprisal.