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Matt Holliday: I’m not a dirty player

Oct 16, 2012, 1:08 AM EDT

Matt Holliday Reuters

Matt Holiday admitted to a mistake Monday after his late takeout slide knocked second baseman Marco Scutaro off his feet and forced him out of the game a couple of innings later. Still, he doesn’t think it reflects on him as a player.

“I’m not a dirty player,” Holliday replied when asked if he crossed the line. “Like I said, I wish I had started my slide a step earlier. When you’re out there in the heat of the moment, you’re trying to keep your team out of the double play. I play hard and was trying to break up a double play. That’s all it comes down to. I’m trying to break up a double play.”

Of course he was. It’s crazy to suggest that Holliday went into second base with any intent to injure. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it was a terribly reckless move, one that shouldn’t have any place on the baseball diamond.

source: Reuters

Fortunately for everyone, Scutaro ended up day-to-day with a hip injury instead of being sidelined for months with a blown out knee or a busted ankle. And fortunately for Holliday, there’s simply no precedent in MLB for punishing a player for such a slide. That’s something the league really should take a look at this winter.

  1. thecuckoo3 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    He’s still been a jerk on the field his whole career. Classless

    • demitaylor36 - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:27 AM

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      • Gardenhire's Cat - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:57 AM

        Ms. Taylor,

        The proprietor of this here blog is a single male who I’m sure would love to go out for some tea and strumpets. He probably even owns a pair of chaps. Get at him: @craigcalcaterra

      • wlschneider09 - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

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      • ezwriter69 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        Sorry, Ms. Taylor, I don’t think Calcaterra swings that direction…

      • earlnash - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM

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    • ldireland - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      When that jerk went into a barrel roll and never touched dirt before the base he did so with premeditated intent to do damage….you win the battle…..the war????

  2. sailcat54 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    It may not have been intentional, but Holliday was made a stupid play and he was being unnecessarily reckless.

    • sailcat54 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      Whoops! I should have edited the *was* out of the sentence.

      • sj39 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        Why do you come back to read what you wrote after you post? Kind of like people who talk just to hear the sound of their own voice.

      • stex52 - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        Why is it a big deal? Editing perfection is not the goal around here.

  3. heathater4lifeson - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    It’s post season baseball. If he doesn’t slide hard there I’d be disappointed. But what a surprise- giants complaining

    • mkd - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:51 AM

      Except he didn’t slide hard. He jumped at full speed into Marco Scutaro’s leg.

      But whatever I’m sure if the situation were reversed the Cardinals wouldn’t have anything to say about it…

    • bengalsucker - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

      Pot, meet Kettle. The Cardinals are the worst team for whining and crying about things and you call the Giants whiners? Wow. Just wow.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        “If I came to St. Louis to watch a game, I’d catch all kinds of hell.”

        Everyone knows this is patently false. Once again…you are just making shit up!
        If you are going to be taken seriously on this board you are going to have to at least “feign” honesty.

    • ksrippstein - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      Cards fan here – Holliday embarrassed me as a fan last night. That was ridiculous, and if the Giants were awoken because of that play I would not be surprised. Looked like that was the case last night. If the Cards lose this series, at least a lump of blame must go to Holliday.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        With you on a couple of fronts ksrippstein. I too was embarassed. Embarassed as a result of the big oafs clumsy ass barreling into Scutaro causing injury. Not embarassed by anything personally though as Holliday didn’t do it intentionally or with any ill will.
        On a different front…if the Giants aren’t already fired up enough for an NLCS series they have far bigger problems than Holliday did.

    • earlnash - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      Not a fan of either team, just a guy who has been umpiring for 55 years. You slide INTO a base, not OVER a base. Matt’s size is irrelevant; any size player, who starts his slide, while OVER the base, is called out by the umpire and the DP is called, as the runner at second interfered with the throw in a gross and negligent manner.

      Let’s not turn a beautiful game into hockey.

  4. kanyong712 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Still a dirty freakin db period.

  5. nategearhart - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Those “the cardinals play the game the right way!” comments earlier today sure ring hollow right about now…

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      He is obviously a dirty player. He was covered in dirt after that play.

  6. bobulated - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Matt, you might not think that but a heck of lot of other people do now. Incredibly cheap shot.
    It’s the playoffs so probably no retribution but still you wonder if he should stay a little “loose” in the box the rest of the series.

    • mrwillie - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      I’m guessing that his poor fielding on Scutaro’s double spared him any potential retribution.

  7. jjoc77 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    its baseball he went to break up a dp and he went to far obviously he wasnt trying to hurt scutaro just playing tough baseball. RELAX.

    • normcash - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:03 AM

      I’m sure he wasn’t TRYING to hurt Scutaro. But he had reckless disregard for whether or not he did. It was a dirty play. Period.

  8. braddavery - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    Matt would cut off his arm if it would help his team win. The dude just plays hard all the time and pushed too hard there. Stupid play, yes. Dirty, no. Matt is right, he’s not a dirty player. In the heat of the moment, he went too far. Give him a break.

    • yazmon - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:26 AM

      His outfield play seems a bit lackadaisical at times. I disagree that he plays hard all the time.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:11 AM

        What you are referring to when you state he plays lackadaisical is his (non-ballerina like) approach to fly balls. He also “executes” this approach while running (sliding, hoping, skipping, falling, stumbling, bumbling, rumbling) the bases. He is unorthodoxed to say the least.
        Bad play on his part. Bad all the way around. But dirty? NO.

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Yeah, Matt doesn’t play hard ALL the time. But still deserves a little slack for this because he does not have a reputation as being a dirty player. I’ve seen a LOT of players do worse trying to break up a DP.

  9. cardsfanandi - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    He might not be a dirty player, but that was a down right dirty play. I’m still cringing about it. We want them to win, but not at the cost of other players (at least, I don’t). I know a lot of Cardinals fans who don’t like Matt Holliday, and behavior like that isn’t gonna help. Glad Scutaro is ok. Hope whatever injuries he’s got don’t keep him off the field!

  10. xjokerz - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    its playoff baseball…rough slides are part of the game
    oh well

  11. grantlee11 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Its not like this is the 1st time Holliday has ever done this. Ask Starlin Castro. I think Holliday had the same reply when asked about it after that game.

    • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      The slide last night was a reckless and dangerous play….comparing it to the slide into Castro is stupid. Holliday didn’t even touch Castro on the slide you are referring to

      • grantlee11 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        Really??? So it happened more than once, because the slide I am referring to damn sure did more than touch him. Talk about stupid.

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        Feel free to provide a link…if you are talking about the one earlier this year when Castro went down like a ton of bricks when he uniform was grazed…it’s the same one.

  12. ghostofjimlindeman - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    First off in post game comments none of Giants players called it dirty except Bochy who is doing his job and defending his guy. Secondly IT’S THE PLAYOFFS what a bunch of crybabies. Will CLARK didn’t even call it a dirty play. Cardinal haters keep on hatin makes me laugh when we kick your ass! Oh yea!

  13. ghostofjimlindeman - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Duff man says a lot a things, oh yea !

  14. vincecully - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    The sixth tool: ability to break up double plays without injuring the middle infielder.

    New drills in spring training for players to sharpen this skill.

  15. paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Are people really going to label a player based on a single play? Should we label Jeter a cheap/dirty/cheating player because he grimaced in pain and held his wrist acting like a pitch that clearly didn’t hit him had hit him? If you play long enough, things happen that you wish hadn’t…it happens.

    It was a reckless slide, clearly. If Holliday keeps jumping into the legs of fielders trying to turn a double play, feel free to label him dirty. But at this point it is an isolated incident. I hope he continues to slide hard into 2B, but I hope he doesn’t even do this again.

    • bayballtim - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      You mean perhaps something like this Matt Holliday Slide.

      last year when he slid out of the base path, with cleats up and ripped Starlin Castro’s pants off of his knee.

      Holliday is a dirty player. at least at times.

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        Yep, that slide, in which he wasn’t out of the base line (his arms were above the base and in which he barely touched Castro (if he touched him at all). You don’t have to link to a grainy youtube version….you can see the replay clear as day on

    • bayballtim - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      You mean perhaps something like this Matt Holliday Slide.

      last year when he slid out of the base path, with cleats up and ripped Starlin Castro’s pants off of his knee.

      Holliday is a dirty player. at least at times.

  16. stex52 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Number one reason why we should all give our second basemen more love. They face this risk everytime they turn a double play. Getting that throw off takes a lot more concentration even than being the catcher with a man coming straight at you from third. Any wonder so many end their careers with knee injuries?

    Hollidays play was bad, but not out of the norm. Their needs to be some form of discipline.

  17. realgone2 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Yet more whining from the “pussy generation”.

    • ptfu - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Congratulations! You just disqualified yourself from any right to whine about kids on your lawn.

    • stex52 - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      So I take it you hate women, too.

  18. hojo20 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    If it was Derek Jeter sliding, the buzz would be that he made a ‘great baseball play’…..

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      If it was Derek Jeter sliding, his butt would have hit the ground before it hit Scutaro’s knee. That is the difference right there

  19. bengalsucker - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    You better believe if this happened to a Cardinals infielder, those fans that are saying “that’s playoff baseball. deal with it” would be the first ones calling for the guy’s head and saying they should plunk him next time at the plate. They can dish it out but can’t take it themselves. I really dislike the Cardinal fanbase.

    • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:43 AM

      1) You are an idiot.

      2) Cardinal fans (as a group) are fully capable of criticizing their own players. The majority of comments here about this slide acknowledge it was a reckless slide, dangerous play, and if Holliday is plunked down the road, so be it.

      3) Molina gave a forearm to Ruiz earlier this year on a collision at the plate. Cardinal fans thought it was a cheap play by Molina and said so….they also thought the play by Harrison doing the same thing to Molina was cheap….cheap shots are cheap whether players on your team are on the giving or receiving end. We understand that.

      • bengalsucker - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        Very educated comback! I’m an idiot because I speak the truth. You can’t tell me one Cards fan that wouldn’t be calling for someone’s head had they slid into one of your infielders and put them out of the game. I’d love for that to happen just to see the response. You’re lying through your teeth if you tell me you wouldn’t be livid and wanting to see the guy get hit.

      • stex52 - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Whoa, Tiger! Little out of control here?

        I’m one who wouldn’t. You probably can only find about a million more.

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        No, you’re an idiot because you are just making shit up. You are assuming anyone that says “that’s playoff baseball, deal with it” is a Cardinal fan….and because you are fabricating responses on which to base your opinion. It is one of the characteristics of idiots….basing opinion on what they wish was true rather than facts.

        Feel free to provide evidence that Cardinal fans in general have the attitude you are pushing on us. I’ll wait patiently.

        Reds fans should hope they are not judged by those that post here. According to some, they do not represent the typical Reds fan, therefore I don’t judge an entire city of fans based on the comments of a few.

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        …and you are wrong. But hey…way to show your own personality through by projecting what you would want happen onto others.

        In any situation in which dumb plays that regularly result in occur, I have always argued against them. Throwing a baseball at a player on purpose is always dumb; the potential for injury far outweighs the perceived benefit (which is nearly zero). Taking out the catcher is always a reckless play and is also against the rules of baseball; there is no special rule allowing a player to dislodge the ball at home…any attempt to do so, by rule, results in the runner being called out. Those collisions are against the rules and result in far too many injuries to justify them.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      “I really dislike the Cardinal fanbase.”

      We are so grateful you cleared this up for us Sucker.
      Based upon all of your incredibly positive…always benefical posts we would have never made the connection.

      And for the last 4 – 5 years people wonder why I absolutely abhor going to Cardinals games in Cincinnati.

      • bengalsucker - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        Trust me we hate when the Cardinals come to town because we have to deal with the obnoxious fanbase. Our fans are great to fans of most every other team besides the Cardinal fanbase. Once you guys are in town it’s game on. Yet again, you guys dish it out but can’t take it. If I came to St. Louis to watch a game, I’d catch all kinds of hell. But when you come here you expect to be treated like gods. Typical Cards fan. Act like everyone owes you guys something.

      • gostlcards5 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        FYI to you BS (appropriate initials for you):

        I have been to many Reds games, in Cincinnati, with Cardinals gear (hat, t-shirt, etc.), sometimes with friends that are Reds fans, sometimes not. I have never once had a problem with Reds fans. Not once. Conversed with a lot of people around me, too, because that’s what I do. Never once was I “obnoxious”, nor was anyone else to me. All I care about is going to see a good game, and if my team wins in the process of that, great, so be it.

        As for the play last night, I think Holliday overdid being aggressive. If it was the same play in reverse, I would think the same thing. This is the same process that prompted me to think that Brandon Phillips is an asshat for thumping Yadier’s shin guards after his comments about the team, but that Yadi was also at fault for escalating it and getting in BP’s face the way he did, starting the brawl. And the only head that I would have “called for” is the other asshat (your best pitcher) that repeatedly kicks someone in the head with his cleats, effectively ending his career (that being a guy who was a teammate of his just a year or two before). That’s aggravated assault in the real world, by the way.

        I agree with paperlions, you’re not an idiot because you “speak the truth”. You’re an idiot because you make things up, that and that you do not know the difference between “speaking the truth” and “squawking an emotional opinion”.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      “You can’t tell me one Cards fan that wouldn’t be calling for someone’s head had they slid into one of your infielders and put them out of the game.”

      “You’re lying through your teeth if you tell me you wouldn’t be livid and wanting to see the guy get hit.”

      You aren’t being honest Sucker. Come on…be honest with yourself.
      Or is it your “like” for the Cardinal fanbase that is clouding things?

  20. SOBEIT - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    The way I see it, the Baseball Gods levied their justice with the fact that it was in Holliday’s head the rest of the game. Then all the bloop infield singles, choppers over the head of infielders, bloop popup missed by the 3rd baseman, Holliday muffing the ball through his legs on the Scutaro hit, more errors and missed (but actually made tag) on Blanco. The only hard hit seemed to be from Scutaro and Theriot. The baseball gods have a funny sense of humor! And the clincher, Theriot off the bench to replace Scutaro to get a key hit to extend the lead to a safe margin to prevent any comeback by the Cards.

    The Giants don’t retaliate…that is Bochy’s style. Now back to baseball because this series just got a lot more interesting.

    • stex52 - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      Hope you are right about Bochy. You probably are. I’ve always thought he was pretty good. That’s certainly the smart way to play it.

      • SOBEIT - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        As a fan, there were a few times I wished the opposing team got a message plunking (not a high heater, but something to the ribs) but never happened. Bochy is old school as they come, but he just does not retaliate or ask his players to send a message. This will not become something heated like I saw with Reds/Cards brawl (I think that was the correct 2 teams) a year or two ago.

      • gostlcards5 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        I highly doubt that they retaliate now, if they haven’t already. What better time to put one in his ribs then in the middle of a 7-1 shellacking?

        The exception: They could wait until next year to ensure that they don’t endanger anyone’s availability for the remainder of the playoffs.

  21. mrwillie - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Dirty? No. Excessive? Yes.

    No need to be up in arms, and all “the league needs to look into this.” This has been going on long before there was an internet to talk about this kind of stuff. Leave it on the field- if the Giants think it was too much, they’ll handle it. If they think it was just a hard play, so be it.

  22. salvomania - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Jeez, move on, everyone.

    Holliday admitted he was wrong, he made a mistake. Right there that separates him from about 90% of the posters criticizing him.


    The Giants won and scored three runs on a play in which Holliday let a ball hit by the aggrieved party roll under his mitt all the way to the wall. Karmic justice has been served.

  23. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    The umpires can call interference and call the runner at first base out on a play like that, right? Seemed like a pretty obvious place to apply such an authority. Though with the current state of umpiring I am surprised they didn’t call Holliday safe on the play.

  24. richwizl - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Holiday wasn’t sliding into the base; he already knew he was out by a mile. He clearly went airborne over the bag and into Scutaro to take him out and save an out. It doesn’t matter how you play the game ( because it’s not really a game), it’s whether you win or not. Winners get money, empowerment, the girls, etc., while losers get ridiculed. This isn’t sport, it’s war. Of course, if you want to play like Ty Cobb, don’t expect anyone at your bedside when you’re dying.

  25. mike04major - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    It’s called baseball. Sometimes it’s a contact sport. The slide was not dirty, it was country hardball! Bunch of sissys, they already have to wear batting helmets on the bases, what’s next, rubber shavings around the bases to prevent slide burns when they slide in?
    Holliday is not one of my favorite players, but he plays the game hard. Scooter could have gotten out of the way, he plays hard too, and was trying just as hard to complete the double play as Matt was to break it up.

    Sometimes contact, and injuries happen. It’s the nature of the game.

    Play ball!

    • sfg25 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      It doesn’t matter whether or not the slide was on purpose, it’s still an illegal slide. Scutaro was behind the bag and Holliday didn’t touch the bag until he had already hit Scutaro. That slide was the epitome of dirty baseball. Holliday is a dirty player. I’ve seen him play enough to know that. He’s the only one in the game who hits like that. How can you possibly not think that was dirty?

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Said the San Fransico Giants fan.
        I will state it again…I have never heard anyone say Matt Holliday was a dirty player.
        Even Pagan and Belt said as much when interviewed after the game.

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