I don't want to spend too much time on this because I can't believe anyone in their right mind is on the same side as Joe Girardi on this issue but it's at least worth a mention.
So on Saturday, Yankees' rookie catcher Francisco Cervelli was trying to coral a throw home when DEVIL Ray 2nd baseman Elliott Johnson came home and just leveled him. Cervelli lost the ball, Johnson scored and Cervelli broke his wrist. Pretty intense for a pre-season game but shit happens and you have to expect aggressive hustle plays during Spring Training when players have to do whatever it takes to stand out. Sadly, that's not how Sour Joe Girardi.
When interviewed about the play after the game, Girardi was bullshit:
"I think it was uncalled for, it's spring training and you are going to get people hurt and we got Cervelli hurt," Girardi said of Johnson... "I am all for playing hard but I don't think it's the time to run over a catcher in spring training."Not entirely finished, Girardi then blamed Rays Manager Joe Maddon for not having control of his guys
"I have always known you don't do it," Girardi said of instigating home plate collisions in games that don't count.Since the incident, I haven't heard one person come out in defense of Girardi's stance here (even Yankee homer Michael Kay called Girardi out on his radio show today). So I guess there's really no argument here that Girardi is in the right. I mean, what the F did you want Johnson to do? He's a kid dying to make a team on an organization FULL of young upstart players who are all likely more talented than he is. He has to do EVERYTHING better than the other guy to get noticed. If he's sprinting home and then pulls up at home plate so as not to injure the catcher, he loses all credibility and no matter how he explains it to the coaches, he's f'd. If he slides in feet first, he risks injuring himself. If he tries some weird acrobatic move, he looks like an asshole who doesn't know what he was doing. Taking out the catcher was the right move because it showed he instinctively knew what to do in that position and it showed just how bad he wants on that team. If anyone is to be blamed it's that idiot catcher who got himself hurt. Get in position and catch the fucking ball, pansy. And Joe knows that. He was a fucking catcher for Christ's sake.
"I know kids are playing aggressive and playing hard and that's the way you want them to play. But if it happens too much maybe you should mention it.
"It's one thing to get hit by a pitch or twist an ankle running the bases. But to run over someone, I don't understand it.
I thought the flagship of Joe Girardi's makeover movement was to add a new sense of "toughness" to the Yanks. I guess that only means when he says so or when the lights are on or on national tv or maybe only in October. What we know now is that for about the next month, you can rest assured the Yanks won't give their best effort. They'll simply half ass it. I'm sure that won't roll over into the regular season.