Yesterday we participated in a little back-and-forth with My Baseball Bias, a Yankees blog, about the Elliot Johnson/Francisco Cervelli collision from the past weekend.

You can read the entire exchange HERE. We have included a few snippets below…

MBB: …Young guys are out there playing hard trying to make an impression which I’m all for. But does running over a catcher late in a spring training game constitute a “nice hard-ball play” as Joe Maddon called it, or sheer stupidity? The game was an exhibition where the standings are meaningless. If the Rays goal is to win the Grapefruit League, then yes, I can understand it. But with Johnson’s collision coming only days after Carl Crawford ran over Houston catcher Humberto Quintero, you would think that Maddon would have at least reminded his players that these games don’t really count and to use caution. Instead, Maddon seems to be telling his team – bully the bully, take-no-prisoners and worry what happens later. If that’s his philosophy, I think it could lead to unforeseen consequences, especially if the Rays don’t live up to the hype that’s being placed upon them in ‘08…

RI:Let me remind everybody…this was not a “dirty” play. This was not an illegal play. Yankees fans are upset because a player was playing hard. On the surface…do you know how silly that sounds? I know you are upset a guy got hurt, but geez…all he did was make a normal everyday baseball play. He was playing hard. Nobody threw a pitch at somebody’s head. Nobody slide into second with spikes raised. It was a clean play…

For a team that does not have the birthright to buy an all-star for every position, winning takes a little more than just filling out a lineup card. It is a mentality. To steal the words from my co-writer, DRG, If the Rays are going to compete in the AL East against teams that think the playoffs are just handed to them on a silver platter their attitude needs to change, The Rays could put their collective tails between their legs and accept losing or they can stand up to the bullies. With some drunk in the right field bleachers screaming “Get him a body bag, yeaaahhh!”, Daniel LaRusso just punched the Cobra Kai in the nose, and it sure sounds like the Cobra Kai would rather cry about it than fight back.

MBB: I like the fact that Maddon is trying to instill a new “mentality” in the Rays after losing the clubhouse a bit last year when he had trouble controlling the now departed Delmon Young and hoodlum Elijah Dukes. He has an obligation to get his team to believe in themselves and compete hard everyday. I just think telling your players it’s okay to run over an opposing team’s catcher is careless, especially when the end game doesn’t mean much in the spring. All you do is risk injury to both players and for a young and promising team like the Rays, I’m surprised Maddon is advocating it.


To add one thought that was not included in the exchange, let us say that from a philosophical point-of-view, we wouldn’t advocate running over catchers in spring training, but we also don’t see it as a dirty play. When we first heard that Crawford had run over an Astros’ catcher our first reaction was, “what is he thinking? We can’t afford to have CC get hurt in the spring”. Obviously this was less of a concern with Johnson as he does not figure into the Rays immediate plans. So maybe we are being hypocritical. We are OK with that.

The Cervelli/Johnson Incident: Rays Index talks with My Baseball Bias [My Baseball Bias]



  1. CubsfanRaysaddict says:

    I love the birth right comment, Although I think rolling your eyes and obscene hand gestures would work just as well as facts when arguing this with a Yankee fan.
    ps.. I agreed with Eric's earlier comment (posthumously)

  2. Anonymous says:

    it was actually ken singleton that said it was a meaningless spring training game, not Kay. but it doesn't really matter

  3. The Professor says:

    thanks for the correction. I guess I am just more used to Kay saying something provoking

  4. Big Mike says:

    i love that you admit to being hypocritical. it is nice psychological ploy. is it really hypocritical if you know you are being hypocritical? discuss.


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