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Minus Tony La Russa, Cardinals still league’s biggest dipwads

Aug 28, 2012, 10:15 PM EDT

Josh Harrison, Yadier Molina

Yeah, Josh Harrison bowled over Yadier Molina in the second inning Tuesday, knocking the St. Louis catcher out of the game soreness in his back, neck and shoulders. It was a violent collision, and the Cardinals weren’t happy about seeing maybe their best player leave with an injury.

So, of course, Jake Westbrook threw at Harrison three innings later, plunking him in the leg with a first-pitch fastball.

And, for that, I’m calling the Cardinals losers. There was nothing old school about it. It was just a whiny team not having things go its way and deciding to get revenge the only way it knew how.

Take it out on Harrison? Ridiculous. Molina was sitting there right in front of the plate, low to the ground, ready to absorb the collision. Harrison had absolutely nowhere else to go. Watch the play and tell me what Harrison should have done differently?

Look, I’m not a fan of this type of play. I’ve railed against it on this blog before. If I had my way, plate blocking would be illegal. But it isn’t, and this kind of thing is going to happen from time to time.

There’s nothing dirty about what Harrison did. If Harrison happened to be a Cardinal, every one of his teammates would have applauded his effort. He didn’t deserve a fastball to the thigh for it, and it’s mind-boggling that Westbrook wasn’t ejected for one of the most obviously intentional HBPs you’ll ever see.

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jumbro10 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Well said!

  2. okwhitefalcon - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    As soon as I saw the headline I knew exactly who wrote this.

    Hysterical.

    • okwhitefalcon - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      Even more hysterical, author was trolling for “headline” ideas on twitter:

      Matthew Pouliot‏@matthewpouliot

      “I’ve been told I shouldn’t call the Cardinals “douches” in the headline for my upcoming blog entry. Anyone got any good synonyms?”

      Thank me whenever you’d like for upping your “follower” count and/or inspiring a parody account.

      • okwhitefalcon - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:30 PM

        “Minus Rhianna, Matt Kemp’s Still Leagues Biggest Dipwad”

        “There’s nothing dirty about what that wall did to Kemp. If that wall happened to be at Dodger Stadium, every one of its partitions would have applauded its stopping abilities. That wall didn’t deserve Matt Kemp running into it and it’s mind-boggling that Kemp wasn’t ejected for one of the most obviously intentional wall crashes you’ll ever see.”

        Signed,
        Matthew Pouliot

  3. ethanarturian - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Maybe not lead w/a shoulder to the neck?

    • jrbdmb - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      Maybe not totally block the plate?

      • jahwerb - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM

        Ever heard of a hook-slide? It works magic at home. No need to hit a catcher. It almost never works.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Should have faked a slide then jumped over the glove once Molina committed. Better chance of that crazy shit working then dislodging the ball from Molina.

  5. rcali - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Apparently Molina has not yet watched enough replys of Maur and Posey blocking too much of the plate. It’s just not smart for one run.

  6. mydadyourmom - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Wow that is a soft article. Not like he hit him in the melon.

  7. shzastl - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    You’re a loser for ripping a team for standing up for its players. Aren’t you the moron who impugned the integrity of the brain damaged kid’s parents for seeking compensation for their son’s severe, permanent injuries? Now your panties are in a twist because the cards hit someone in the LEG?? Get some perspective, d- bag. When that old school style stops winning world championships, then you’ll have room to talk. Go write about figure skating.

    • ufullpj - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      It’s d-bag wussy comments like this from the ignorati that cloud all Cardinal fans as dicks. Get a life, loser. You’re the type of “man” with comment board balls and McJob to show for it. Tell mommy and daddy that it’s past your bedtime, and that if you keep talking smack, somewhere, somebody is going to hit you so hard your tampon will pop out.

      Tool

      • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        So you mock this dude for essentially calling Mathew’s point of view pussified baseball by telling him you’ll hit him till his tampon pops out? Brilliant.

  8. talbaugh - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    you can disagree with westbrook throwing at harrison, but your title is immature and unprofessional. you can do better.

    • stevequinn - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      No he can’t. This guy is a hack blogger. A real hack. Not even a columnist.

  9. paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    What he should have done differently? Not assaulted a player while attempting to score a run early in a game? Not throw a forearm and shoulder into the face of a defenseless player?

    You do realize that close plays at the plate happen every day and nearly all runners chose to slide either into or around the catcher, right? What Harrison could have done, was what nearly every other player chooses to do in this situation.

    Of course, Harrison had far fewer options than you did when deciding to write this column, which is rather pathetic.

    You know what you won’t see a Cardinal player do? Run over an opposing catcher….but the Cardinals are dipwads?

    • brewcrewfan54 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:45 PM

      What harrison could have done. Its not in the rules that he has to slide to avoid the tag when MLB makes that rule get back to me. Until then a catcher getting in the way of the baseline, for better or worse, is fair game. And Yadi knows it and Matheny sure as hell better still remeber it.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      I’d hardly say Molina was defenseless. He chose to put himself in the position, and while he probably didn’t have as much time to set up and brace himself as he would have liked, he wasn’t taken unaware either.

      Harrison could have slid. In this case, with the plate blocked, it would have been totally conceding the out.

      • jahwerb - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:29 AM

        Sliding was a better option than what he did. Sliding far to the outside and reaching your hand back(aka a hook-slide) would have given him a better chance to score. Molina did what you are supposed to do as a catcher. Harrison didn’t have to go for his head.

      • pipkin42 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        Molina is also wearing armor. Harrison isn’t.

      • jahwerb - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:22 AM

        Have you ever worn catcher’s gear? It’s not armor.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:22 AM

        Matthew, if you are going to write about baseball, you should probably learn the rules. If a fielder as the ball at the base prior to your arrival, you are required to concede the out. There is no allowance to assault the fielder in an attempt to score.

        Also, you are a dick. Boy, immature name calling is fun, I should have tried it sooner.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        If the Cardinals only hit a guy once after he ran over a catcher, and another team hit a guy twice after doing it, does that mean that Cardinals are only 1/2 the dipwad the Phillies are?

        Molina ran over Ruiz (obviously, still a bad baseball play), and the next TWO times the Cardinals played Philly they hit Molina with a pitch. Lest you think Molina is prone to such things, that represents 1/2 his HBP this year.

      • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        Bad article, Matt. You seem to be on a negative roll of late. Inflammatory statements to get your hit count up will backfire in the long run.

      • pipkin42 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        I have, actually! It’s a lot more armor-like than a batting helmet and prayer.

      • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        paperlions:

        Matthew, if you are going to write about baseball, you should probably learn the rules. If a fielder as the ball at the base prior to your arrival, you are required to concede the out. There is no allowance to assault the fielder in an attempt to score.

        .

        I’d like to back you up on this, but you are flat out incorrect in your assertion of the rules.

        While there is no rule forbidding or allowing a Runner/Fielder collision at Home Plate – below is the rule ‘obstruction’ of the runner (specifically, it is what the Catcher may or may not do in a play at the plate is noted in bold italics – and it would apply to any fielder covering Home incidentally):

        7.06 (a) – If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batterrunner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

        (b) If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction.

        NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

        The bottom line is this . . . whether it be at First, Second, Third or Home, no fielder has the right to stand in front of the base and obstruct the runner.

        If, on a play at the plate, the Catcher stood to the side of Home, instead of obstructing the runners rightful path, and the runner then went out of his way to level the Catcher, then the Runner would be out for interference (even if he touched home safely prior to leveling the Catcher) – and quite likely ejected.

        However, “blocking the plate” is a strategic choice that teams and Catchers make in order to make conceding a run on a play at Home Plate as difficult as possible on a potentially close play.

        So in a nutshell, the act of blocking Home Plate is obstructing the runners rightful unimpeded path to Home Plate, and the runner has the right to do what is necessary to score at the Catcher’s own peril.

    • capsboy - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM

      Watch many Cardinal games this year paper?

      http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120526&content_id=32282420&notebook_id=32282422&vkey=notebook_phi&c_id=phi

      • hodaghunter - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:52 AM

        This link should be near the top of this. Backs up the original statement of the Cardinals. Its only okay when they do it… if another team does it to them… OHHH NO…

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:21 AM

        Yes, I acknowledge that one in the thread about the story instead of this pathetic piece of shitty writting by Pouliot.

        If you look at the hits (neither of which I approve and both of which are against MLB rules), Molina didn’t go to the head and chose an angle that took him past the catcher instead of straight over him….still, both are dumb plays.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

        I’m not sure Matthew understands concepts associated with baseball. Seriously, go back and read some of his prior blog posts. They are mostly nonsensical drivel. At least he stopped using the exact same blog titles as those posted on MLB trade rumors. Baby steps I suppose.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:11 AM

        Fun fact:

        After Molina ran over Ruiz, the next time Philly played StL (which wasn’t for over a month). Molina was hit by a pitch. The next game, Molina was again hit by a pitch. It was only a 2 game series.

  10. Carl Hancock - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wow, biased much? Am I the only one that sees Harrison obviously lowering his shoulder and Molina primarily setup on the inside of the base line and not fully blocking the plate? As for retaliation… Molina is the heart of the Cardinals. More than Pujols ever was or wished he was. When you knock the heart of a team out of the game, you can expect retaliation. That’s just how it goes.

  11. rooney24 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Funny, the picture with the article shows Yadi about 2 feet away from the plate. He is up the 3rd base line, but there is theoretically room to get around him and try to swipe the plate.

    • pepefreeus - Aug 29, 2012 at 6:06 AM

      For Reed Richards, maybe.

  12. lionsflyersandredbirds - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Dipwads? Seriously?

    Any team would have done the same thing in hitting Harrison; as the game was already well on its way to being out of hand.

    Harrison nailed him in the face on a bang-bang play. I can’t say for sure that he was targeting the head, but in other sports other similar situations would result in suspensions or fines.

    With that said, I think the bigger win for the Bucco’s tonight is the fact that Yadier had to leave the game. They’re still two back of the redbirds but Yadi being injured is an astonishing loss (especially if it turns out to be long-term).

    Ayeeeee.

  13. toreup - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I remember when baseball used to be a mans game. Hopefully next time Westbrook will just bake him some cupcakes

  14. elmaquino - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    I’m not condoning what they did, but what are you doing calling the ENTIRE team dipwads and losers from behind a computer? Would you EVER say that to any of these guys face-to-face? I know that nobody approaches their sports writing like that anymore, but could you at least try to?

    If you disagree with what happened, fine. My beef isn’t with your take. There’s a legitimate, reasonable argument that Westbrook shouldn’t have done what he did. Lay it out like you did. Throw in a reasonable amount of scolding in for good measure. (Keep SOME perspective: the guy got hit in the leg, not the head.)

    But to rip the entire team and still cling to the “TLR and his whiny Cardinals” narrative? That’s weak stuff, man.

  15. bonescraper75 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Yea, dipwad, its Tuesday. Nice. Good job. Quality writer.

  16. jaygott87 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    You’re a loser Matthew, you just say stupid stuff to get a reaction. Well done troll. How did you get a job as a writer?

  17. bigleagues - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Matthew, with all due respect, I believe they are correctly referred to as DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPION DIPWADS.

  18. saints97 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Just another nerd journalist who never played the game past childhood who has no idea what he’s talking about.

    Even football is cracking down on that stuff, but it’s perfectly fine in baseball?

    Right.

    • pipkin42 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      So, Mr. Anonymous Saints Fan, did you play the game professionally? Are you maybe Rusty Staub, Mel Ott, or Will Clark? If not, by your own criteria, why should we care what you have to say?

      And the NFL isn’t cracking down on anything. The premise of football is hurting one another, standing in one another’s way. It isn’t in baseball, yet Molina decided to make it a contact sport. He paid the price.

      • pipkin42 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:45 PM

        Incidentally, the list of baseball players born in Louisiana is fascinating:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bio/LA_born.shtml

        Let’s have a more fun debate! Best player from Louisiana? Gotta be Mel Ott, right. Followed by maybe Andy Pettite?

        I’m really excited to see that Baseball Reference has these lists. Is there anything those guys can’t do?

      • pipkin42 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:03 AM

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bio/MD_born.shtml

        My home state of Maryland has Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken (both), Home Run Baker, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove. Not to mention Mark Teixeira, Brady Anderson, Harold Baines, Billy Ripken (hah!), Denny Neagle, Dave Foutz, and Jeff Nelson.

        Plus former University of Maryland ace Brett Cecil! Boy howdy!

      • jahwerb - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:27 AM

        pipkin42, you forgot Justin Maxwell for the Astros and formerly for the Nats. He played in Moco. Either way, MLB should be cracking down on this “launching” or blows to the head just like the NFL. Just don’t need it in the game.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:43 AM

        Al Kaline?

  19. pandaaa69 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    its a unwritten baseball rule YOU DIPWAD you sound like if you have never watched baseball

  20. bigleagues - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out how it is that seemingly each and every HBT writer is not just against throwing at a batter . . . but passionately against it. I’m not even sure I understand the justification. I think we can all agree that bean balls are completely repugnant. But from below the letters on down is fair game. I think guys like Matthew and Craig lose sight of the fact that a team is choosing to put a guy on base. And intentionally hitting a batter can and does backfire. But it can also serve a purpose. Is that purpose sometimes to intimidate? Yep. But also are there batters that intentionally step into pitches or obstruct the strike zone in an attempt to draw a HBP? Yep. And does that serve to intimidate the pitcher . . . sometimes yes.

    And we’re gonna get all up in arms and protest the home plate collision while we’re at it? REALLY? WHY? Doesn’t the Catcher wear the most protective equipment on the field? I caught. I got my bell rung once or twice by guys as big or bigger than me. So I got the wind knocked out of me. I caught my breath and I finished the game. Granted Josh Harrison is probably a little more solid than the dudes that slammed into me in HS, but seriously . . . are we on a mission to make pro sports safer or to rid all pro sports of all contact?

    Whats next? No more hard slides at 2B?!

    • Matthew Pouliot - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      If I had my way, yeah, no more hard slides at second base either. Baseball shouldn’t be a contact sport. I know I’m in the minority there, but that’s the way I feel about it.

      • pipkin42 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:50 AM

        Definitely agree with MP. Ty Cobb let the spikes fly. He was a model citizen, right?

        Oh wait…

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        You can’t be serious Matthew. No hard slides at second base?
        How do you even write about baseball? Man…it would be tough to write on an everyday basis about a sport and/or topic I didn’t like.

  21. sir1389 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    At least the Cubs still suck.

  22. bringbackkosar - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Don’t you think Harrison knew it was coming? “Dipwads” IS lame, shoulda used Brandon Phillips’ term for the Cards instead after 2010 rumble in Cincy…. he referred to them as “punk-ass bitches” as I recall

  23. uiucfan1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    seriously? the team captain, all star, best catcher in baseball gets hurt and you expect the cards to lie down? you don’t deserve to be a journalist – you are just a fan. Here’s what you do – you make a sliding attempt at home plate, like 95% of all baseball players would. He intentionally took a forearm/shoulder into Yadi’s neck. He looked like a linebacker hitting a slot receiver going across the middle.

    • bigleagues - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      uiucfan1:

      I realize that the Internet mediascape can be a tad confusing but you are not alone in referring to Matthew as a ‘journalist’. Call it a pet peeve of mine with a corresponding somewhat compulsive need to correct the offending persons:

      Hardball Talk is a BLOG.

      Matthew is a BLOGGER on HBT.

      BLOGGERS offer their personal and/or expert opinions on various topics.

      Matthew has offered his opinion on the Cardinals. And we as the HBT Commentariot offer quips and/or our opinions on the Blogger’s opinion.

    • addictedzone - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      ” and you expect the cards to lie down?”

      They lost 9-0. That’s exactly what they did.

      And your analogy is a bit off. Since Molina outweighs Harrison by 35 pounds, it was more like the slot receiver trying to run through the linebacker.

  24. uiucfan1 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    all i can say is – ask Nyjer Morgan how this worked out for him and the Brewers last season:

    @TheRealTPlush Nyjer Morgan – T Dot
    Where still n 1st and I hope those crying birds injoy watching tha Crew in tha Playoffs!!! Aaaaahhhhh!!!

  25. johnnyb1976 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    What’s old school about hitting someone in the leg? Yes cards fans are whiney and they are 7 games back of my Reds. Nothing’s going right for the D-bags this season.

    • uiucfan1 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:29 AM

      Karate Kid Cueto kicked like a little girl and ended a mans career – and the cards are the dbags? brandon philips talks noise like the reds are the kings of the crop, then when he touches molina’s shinguards, he is shocked that molina would retaliate? Enjoy your year Reds fan – your pitching (outside of Cueto) sucks and you’ll get smoked in the playoffs – it’ll only be that much more sweet if the Cards can do you the Reds what they did to the Brewers last year. We just came out on top in Cincy – that joke of a ballpark can’t hold our offense….that pitching staff has only 1 good pitcher and a marginal Latos…can’t wait for the postseason

      • bengalsucker - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        Jason LaRue’s career was over anyway. He was hardly even a serviceable catcher at that point. And when you’re a pitcher backed up against he screen and a crowd of people fighting around you, you aren’t going to throw a punch and possibly hurt your own career right? I sure as hell wouldn’t. He wouldn’t be a Cy Young candidate this year had he done that. ;-) The birds were mad because Brandon Phillips spoke the truth and poor little Yadi’s feelings were hurt. Now once again, Yadi can dish it out (see above link of Yadi plowing a Philly catcher) but can’t take it. What a whiney bitch.

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