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Brett Lawrie is probably going to get drilled

Jul 1, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

Brett Lawrie, John Hester

Howie Kendrick booted a grounder, Brett Lawrie was aggressive and now the Angels are mad.

With the bases loaded and none out in the sixth inning today in the game between the Angels and Blue Jays, Jose Bautista hit a grounder to second that looked like a potential double-play ball for Kendrick. Only the ball got through him. After running the ball down, Kendrick, failing to appraise the situation, flipped it to Erick Aybar at second base. Lawrie, who went from second to third initially, took advantage and dashed off for home.

That’s where things got dicey. Catcher John Hester got in front of the plate and had to reach up for the throw. Lawrie, instead of going for home plate, decided to deliver a forearm to Hester’s mask and try to dislodge the ball. He failed in that and he missed home plate afterwards, but he also never appeared to be tagged on the play. At that point, he jumped up to try to touch home plate, Hester dove to try to tag him and he ended up being ruled safe by umpire James Hoye.

It seemed to be the right call; replays weren’t conclusive, but it didn’t look like the tag was ever made. Nonetheless, Mike Scioscia was ejected for arguing. Also, Lawrie and Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher started jawing from their respective dugouts.

Lawrie figures to bat once more today, and unless it comes in a big situation, it’d be a surprise if the Angels don’t plunk him. They clearly weren’t happy with his hit on Hester, and his jawing afterwards couldn’t have helped matters.

  1. 32bigg - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Lol! Your obsession with hating on Lawrie is comical.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Trolling the Jays fans again Matthew? Just a normal competitive play at home. If the catcher does not want to risk a hard hit by a runner, he should not block the plate. It is one of the unwritten rules of baseball. Of course, Hester’s manager was notorious for blocking the plate when was a catcher.

    • ch0psuey - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      I thumbsdown’ed you because you are Canadian. Just thought I’d let you know.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        As if I care!

      • ch0psuey - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        Thats what a Canadian would say

      • tsi431 - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        A true Canadian would apologize for being Canadian.

        I love the movie “Canadian Bacon”

    • ch0psuey - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:46 PM

      I also thumbsup’d myself and thumbsdown’d you. Because that is how I roll.

    • crash1582 - Jul 2, 2012 at 7:13 AM

      No… its definitly a writen rule, just not a highly enforced rule. Do not block the plate.

  3. dieterlaser - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Wahh…that’s baseball. Maybe if Kendrick didn’t lolly gag it, he wouldn’t have hung his catcher out to dry. Too bad.

  4. bobulated - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Kendrick’s pursuit was a bit lacking but your description makes it sound like he took a stroll. Lawrie never got tagged, catcher got him high with wrist but not glove. Hester was also right on the line, not sure what you expect Lawrie to do, didn’t look like he went high with intent, more to protect his own face in a high collision vs a guy in a mask. Nothing dirty about this play. Angels are wrong if they decide to throw at Lawrie for that.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      Yeah, I watched it again: Kendrick ran harder after the ball than I thought he did. The mistake was in flipping it in to Aybar. I’m going to edit that part of the entry.

      • paint771 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        Actually, I think it was kind of indecisive baserunning that threw Kendrick/Aybar off. Lawrie kind of hitched on the way to third, and Kendrick saw Lawrie slow down. Kendrick had been set for a big through, but Lawrie switching gears between second and third slowed him, and then Lawrie decided late to push it. Frankly, if it had turned into an out it would have been a baserunning mistake on Lawrie’s part, but the way the play developed seemed to screw up just about everyone’s rhythm.

        Weird play all around.

        Now if you want to see a defender just out to lunch, check out Pujols a few innings later when Kendrick made a phenomenal catch and was going to easily double up the first base runner, but Albert decided to just park it and direct traffic in the middle of the field so Kendrick’s throw went to an empty bag. And the whole time, Albert just kind of stood there and watched everything, like a fan coming back with nachos and beer.

  5. mgv38 - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    “Catcher John Hester got in front of the plate and had to reach up for the throw” Well, that’s ILLEGAL (and yes, ProudlyCanadian, learned from Scioscia). If you block the plate withuot the ball, you can’t complain when you get slammed.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    And Lawrie comes up and they pitch to him as normal, it was a baseball play when the catcher was between the runner and the plate, Lawrie had two options: 1. Stop and allow the catcher to catch the ball and gather himself and then allow him to tag him out. 2. Make a baseball play and go through him, he made the right choice.

    Also you should note that Lawrie’s aggressiveness and all out all the time style of play is compared by most writers to a guy who ran over a catcher in an All Star game.

  7. vanmorrissey - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Bang bang play for sure but Lawrie is that kind of forearm to the face type of guy. Catcher had his mask on but it’s just a tough play not worthy of retaliation.

  8. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I see in the line score that encarnacion got hit in the 8th. I didn’t see it, but I am assuming with the base open it was intentional.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      Not intentional at all. Just an inside pitch that was too inside.

    • db105 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Hitting Encarnacion brought the tying run to the plate. Really doubt it was intentional.

    • jaysjunkie - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:35 AM

      And he’s been hit about 7-8 times this year. No intention at all.

  9. paint771 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Yeah, they have nothing to bitch about regarding Lawrie. He was barreling down the line with the catcher standing straight up on the basepath on a play that 9 times of out 10 is going to come down to whether he hangs on. You can’t fault Lawrie for the play, and if it came as a surprise that Lawrie would be that aggressive (but clean), you haven’t seen much of Brett Lawrie.

    I think the real frustration there was with home plate umpire James Hoye, who frankly had a pretty bad game not so much in terms of the calls but in terms of how he made them. He called a foul on a strikeout pitch to Bautista, and earlier in the home plate play inning he also got about 3/4s through calling a strike on a 3-1 count and changed mid-gesture to walk Encarnacion. So by the time of this play, he was already on everybody’s radar, and on this play, which was really complicated and unclear, it seemed like he had his mind made up before the play even concluded (he was calling safe, at a glance, before it was even clear whether Hester had hung on or even before Lawrie had reached the bag (which he didn’t touch)). I think it was ultimately the right call (although it’s one of those “You Be the Judge” things), but the questions were 1. Did Hester tag Lawrie, 2. Did Lawrie touch the bag, and 3. Did Lawrie beat Hester on re-touching the bag. The right answers, on review, are 1. No, 2. No, 3. Yes, but none of that was apparent at the point where Hoye made the call – hell the last two things hadn’t even happened yet, so I think the Angels had a right to be frustrated there.

    Of course, none of that had anything to do with Lawrie, and Butcher was just being childish trying to take out the frustration on him. All in all, it was weird, but Lawrie did nothing wrong and the Jays rightly earned the run and if the Angels were upset, they should take it out on Hoye.

  10. proudlycanadian - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    As you said, the umpire had a bad day making his calls. He was probably right all 3 times, but his signals were confusing to the players and the managers.

  11. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    I wasn’t sure, just checked the box score to see if Lawrie was HBP and saw Encarnacion’s name. In the summary it showed a man on 2nd when it happened. Figured he just got plunked. Didn’t see the count.

  12. charlutes - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    As soon as I saw this happen I said Mathew Poulliot is going to be all over this

  13. medialovesthecowboys - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Hey Matt, did Lawrie hit it and not call back?

  14. badintent - Jul 2, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    Lawrie plays old school ball, good stuff. But he doesn’t gamble on games like Pete Rose. He made a smart play to hit the arm to dislodge the ball and Hester was blocking the plate without the ball. Angles had no case to complain. Hester blocked the plate again on the next runner, he is a stud now but will end up a broken down catcher before his time if he continues to do just that. As Maxius said ” We who are about to die salute you. “

  15. purplekoolaid1 - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Matthew, I feel absolutely embarrassed for you that you call yourself a sports writer. You are so biased and unprofessional that it’s sad really. Embarrassing.

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