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Video: Mike Matheny and Bruce Bochy talk about the Holliday-Scutaro slide

Oct 16, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

Shocker: Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny differ on whether the Matt Holliday slide was dirty or not:

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  1. temporarilyexiled - Oct 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    I don’t blame Mike Matheny for sticking up for his player. And I’m sure Matt Holliday had no ill intent. But what we’re seeing is that it’s easier to play hard than to play correctly.

    We see bad fundamentals all the time. Lame bunt attempts. Poor throws all over the diamond. Injuries caused by players that haven’t been taught that playing hard and playing correctly aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I’m sure Scott Cousins didn’t mean to hurt Buster Posey. And Buster Posey’s technique is, in my opinion, still a work in progress. (I’d like to see him end up playing third base.) But we see lots of slides that beg for an umpire to mandate additional outs, if not eject, or even suspend the offending player.

    It’s a great narrative – toughing it out. The Cardinals and Giants are clearly as tough as it gets. To me, these are the two best teams left. But when it crosses the line and becomes football, that’s too far.

    • ezthinking - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      The lack of fundamentals lays with the Giants. It was on the Posey last year and is here too.

      If Scutaro gets his spikes out of the ground, as every second basemen in Little League is taught, he doesn’t get hurt. Check out the Joe Morgan and Hal McRae slides on the other posts. See how Dick Green and Willie Randolph get their spikes are out of the ground? They get hit, but not hurt.

      Now really look at Scutaro’s play. He is standing flat footed on a slow developing play. He doesn’t leave the baseline while receiving the throw, he stands there. It’s the playoffs for Christ’s sake. Guys are going to be coming all out. It’s simple, move your damn feet or watch from the bench.

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        I was going to point out that Scutaro never got off the ground this morning, but I was hampered by 2 facts:

        1) I’m a Cardinal fan, and pointing that out would have been seen as explaining away Holliday’s fault in the outcome of the slide (specifically, the injury to Scutaro)

        2) Regardless, it was a horribly dangerous slide on Holliday’s part. Perhaps Holliday expected Scutaro to jump so that the fact that he didn’t hit dirt before the bag wouldn’t have mattered so much….but one could reasonable argue that Scutaro didn’t expect that a jump was required as he was stationed a couple feet beyond the bag.

      • temporarilyexiled - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Seems to me the onus is on the offensive player to not go over the line when trying to score, break up a double play, whatever. You seem to think it’s on the defensive player to not only field a throw, but perfectly anticipate any sort of mayhem from the onrushing player. I agree that technique cuts both ways, but it’s not like the defensive player is doing anything that’ll cause harm to the offensive player. Yeah, if a catcher blocks the plate in such a way that’s likely to harm the runner coming from third, sure, let me know. I believe, at that point, it’s considered perfectly acceptable to deck the catcher, provided the hit isn’t to high to the body. And a shortstop can throw sidearm and make a runner coming from first duck in order to save themselves. A second baseman is basically toast if the runner decides the game is football. And again, that’s still considered okay under certain circumstances, but a trying to make a double play is already multi-tasking, and it’s pretty bush to start nitpicking a second baseman well behind the bag about where his freaking spikes happen to be. He’s just glad HE’S not getting spiked.

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

        @paperlions a jump wouldn’t really avoid that “slide”, or whatever you wanted to call it. If Scutaro was taken out by Holliday’s foot or knee, I would agree with you. But he was taken out by “both of Holliday’s arms”. How do you jump to avoid that?

      • paperlions - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        The point isn’t that he would have avoided the slide, but that he would have avoided injury. He was hurt because his foot was stuck in the ground, which likely resulting in torn ligaments in the ankle and/or knee. If he had jumped, he would have just been slid into and fallen on top of Holliday….like any number of take out slides that happen at the base (rather than behind it).

  2. stabonerichard - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Obviously that’s not a natural baseball play. That’s not the way a take-out slide is taught at any level of the game. Unfortunately Holliday started his slide too late (as he admitted afterwards) but fortunately the injury wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. To criticize Scutaro in that situation makes about as much sense as criticizing a boxer who gets hit after the bell for not doing a better job defending himself.

    And this is the type of scenario where I have no problem with a team hitting an opposing batter. It’s not like MLB is gonna step in and do anything, so this is where the managers/players handle things. Similar to fighting in hockey, it’s there to maintain a proper order among competitors. Keep it below the shoulders, but if the situation allows for it go ahead and put a fastball in his ribs. It’s a harsh but effective response that prevents other players from clumsily sliding into 2B and potentially tearing up a guy’s knee, or other reckless actions on the diamond.

  3. passerby23 - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    The answer to this is simple: change the rule. If it’s not a natural sliding motion with clear intent to get the base and not take the guy out, then it should not be allowed. You should not have liberty to take a guy out and call it anything else. Period. When the message is clearly “I’m going to take your legs out and injure you if you don’t get out of my way”, I’ve never understood any justification for that. And no, it doesn’t have to be part of the game.

  4. jeffbbf - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Meh – Matheney answered the question as if he were on a witness stand. “Was it a dirty play?” Dirty implies intent to harm. Much like everything else in Holliday’s game except for hitting, he’s a butcher. Trying to make a hard slide to break up a double play and he went down way too late. So, I doubt it was dirty. Karma got him later in the game, and the Giants will probably get him or someone else on the Cards later. Bochy answered the question like pissed-off manager who’s player just got hurt, or maybe like a manager looking to get a little leeway for some evening-up.
    The play looked dirty, but Holliday is more of a big dumb oaf than a dirty player. I hope Scutaro’s ok. He’s hot and the Giants need the bat if they want to stay in the series.

  5. ghostofjimlindeman - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    This play is so overblown it’s pathetic. Yankees deal with it, Patriots deal with it, now the Cardinals deal with it. It’s called “winner’s hate.” No matter what happens there will always be a complaint from the loser crowd about something the Cardinals did or didn’t do. Carpenter is too mean, LaRussa is a jerk, that umpire calls a play dead even though the Braves made 4 fing errors. Always an excuse about why someone lost to us in a big game. Not that hard to figure out why they’re so good really they play to the last out, esp in playoffs!

  6. js20011041 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Just because people hate winners, that doesn’t mean that LaRussa and Carpenter aren’t jerks and that Holliday’s slide wasn’t dirty. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

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