So.. let me get this straight. The Tigers say they are upset with Brett Gardner of the Yankees for his slide on Carlos Guillen from Monday night? HMMM. That is funny because on Monday after the game, nobody said a word. Jim Leyland was asked about it and responded with “The kid did what you’re supposed to do, hard and clean to break it up.”
That should have been the end of it. The manager is the leader of the team, Leyland, for all his second half fold foibles, always has his players’ backs and vice versa, right? I guess not.
Last night, albeit two nights later, Jeremy Bonderman plunks Gardner on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning. Yes, Carlos Guillen had to go on the DL yesterday, but why wasn’t Gardner hit on Tuesday by Justin Verlander? Did the Tigers really think Guillen was NOT going to go on the DL? Is that why they waited? Weak. And if Leyland said the slide was clean, then why hit him at all? I have an idea.
Gardner was hit because Johnny Damon probably fired up the troops. Damon was told by the Yankees “goodbye” this off-season and now Gardner is his replacement in LF for the Yankees. If it was Jorge Posada that slid in to Guillen Monday, would the Tigers have hit him two nights later. Listen to Damon, think he is bitter about Gardner taking his spot?
“If anyone over there thought it was a clean slide, then we have a different opinion on that,” said Damon, who spent four years as a Yankee. “It’s part of baseball. But I thought the slide was dirty, and I’m sure a lot of those guys would agree. Gardner, the other day, he actually possibly ruined or ended Guillen’s season.”
The Tigers should have listened to Leyland. It was a clean and hard play. If they were mad about it, hit Gardner the next game. Waiting until Guillen goes on the DL is lame. Of course Carlos was going on the DL, he goes on the DL all of the time! They could have gotten Miguel Cabrera killed out there last night with this absurd garbage. Cabrera is thee best player in baseball right now in my opinion and he had to get plunked? Go out and beat the Yankees, that is the best retaliation.