When David Price hit Mark Teixeira in the first inning last night, it sent shock through the Yankees dugout. A player getting injured in the final, meaningless weekend of the season is the nightmare scenario for a team about to begin the division series.
Teixeira, who is normally one of the more understated players on the team, wouldn’t offer much when reporters in Tampa asked if he thought Price hit him on purpose. “I have no idea,” he said. Joe Girardi also wouldn’t let Price off the hook, saying, “I don’t know,” but he looked into the Rays dugout while shaking his head when he came out to check on Teixeira.
Obviously he was thinking about Sept. 8, when CC Sabathia hit Rays slugger Carlos Pena with a pitch that broke Pena’s fingers and ended his season. Was Price getting some payback?
For those who think so, don’t forget that the Rays – who denied intent – had the rest of a four-game series to exact revenge back in September. And Price, in particular, actually started (and pitched quite well, in fact) the night after Pena got hurt.
Of course, even if they believe it was on purpose, the smart thing for the Yankees to do is nothing. Wait until spring training, wait until next year. It’s more important to get ready for the playoffs and, as they learned a few weeks ago with Jorge Posada, even a minor bench-clearing can end up with someone getting a nagging injury.
The last thing they need right now is someone getting hurt before the games that really matter get started.