Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi seem to have agreed to disagree over what happened yesterday:
“I was a little bit surprised and I answered it the way I wanted to answer it,” Maddon said to Rays writers when told that Girardi was upset about the incident at home plate. “I just want to let it set right there. This does not deserve any legs. It was an issue that occurred yesterday in a game, it was a hard baseball play. The issue is based on whether you should do that in spring training or not. So itâ€™s a philosophical difference.”
Maddon then made light of the situation when asked whether he and Girardi needed to talk about what happened.
“I like Joe. I’ve always liked Joe. If he would like to have a conversation, Iâ€™d like to talk about politics, I’m good with global warming; I’m good with a lot of different topics on a daily basis. I like iTunes, I download some stuff off iTunes, I like different restaurants; I like red wine. I have a lot of different areas I can go conversationally.â€™â€™
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay advisor Don Zimmer also had something to say.
“When I picked up the paper this morning I was dumfounded,” he said. “You block the plate. What happens if our man slides in with plate being blocked and breaks his leg? I am surprised that Girardi went after it the way he did. The plate was blocked and our guy bowled him over. Whatâ€™s that got to do with spring training? Thatâ€™s the way you play the game.”
A few enterprising New York reporters went over to ask a neutral party, Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire, what he thought.
Gardenhire said such a play is not the norm for spring training but he can understand how it happens.
“It’s instinctive,” he said. “But you’re sad to see somebody get hurt like that in spring training.”
Gardenhire said he doesn’t put on any contact plays in spring training or bring his infield in. He also warns his third base coach not to take any unnecessary risks that could result in collisions.