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.
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.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”