In yesterday’s Cardinals-Reds game, Jason Heyward hit an RBI double that he tried to stretch into a triple. Brandon Phillips fired the relay throw and Todd Fraizer applied the tag to a sliding Heyward at third for the out. You can watch it here. Before you do, however, know that Reds’ manager Bryan Price thinks it was a dirty slide. From the Post-Dispatch:
“Something happened at third base with Heyward. I thought that was a bad slide there,” Price told reporters. “I thought that was a dirty slide and I didn’t like that at all. He’s not a dirty player, but I just thought it was a bad slide and a dirty slide. It could have really affected Frazier and I’m not happy about that nor are any of our players. Hopefully we’ll be able to use it as fuel in this series to find ways to win games like (this).”
It was a late slide, sure, but dirty? That seems like a stretch. Note that third base coach Jose Oquendo is standing there passively, not telling Heyward to slide, so it’s also possible that Heyward assumed the relay throw was going home and didn’t realize he needed to slide until it was too late for a cleaner one. Also, note how instantaneously Heyward popped up to make sure Frazier was OK. Derrick Goold’s story about it at the Post-Dispatch likewise notes that Heyward showed immediate, evident concern for Frazier after the play.
There is a history of bad blood between these two teams. Some bad blood that, in once case anyway, ended a guy’s career. For Price to be talking up a seemingly innocuous play and saying that it should provide “fuel” seems pretty dang irresponsible, frankly.