Matt Holliday on Matt Cain plunking him in the NLCS: “it was less than tough”

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So much arguing about awards and trades and things today. Let’s go back to some baseball. Specifically, Game 1 of the NLCS when Matt Holliday took out Marco Scutaro at second base with a sketchy-at-best slide.

Holliday admitted at the time he made a bad slide and denied any attempt to hurt Scutaro. In Game 7, however, Matt Cain plunked him.  Tim McKernan of InsideStl.com interviewed Holliday about it, and Holliday took issue with the timing of it:

The Cat: If he would’ve plunked you right after would you have taken it as part of the game and part of the medicine that you had to take? Would you say, that that would’ve gone down easier?

Matt: If you’re going to do it, I think that is when you do it. I wouldn’t be happy about it anytime. I just thought that in the situation that it actually did happen it was less than tough.

Is Jim Leyland the last guy in baseball who still uses the tried-and-true “horses–t” when talking about violations of the unwritten rules? I’ve always loved “horses–t.”  It’s perfect. “Less than tough?”  Just not feeling it.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.