Yesterday, a slide by Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks drew the ire of Jerry Hairston Jr., who was playing second base. Hairston wants Goldschmidt suspended for the slide, basically calling it dirty, and you can judge for yourself above.
The bad blood between the Dodgers and D-backs boiled again Wednesday after a late takeout slide of Los Angeles second baseman Jerry Hairston by Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt.
Hairston wasn’t seriously injured, but he took exception, calling the slide dirty and calling for Goldschmidt to be disciplined.
“He should be suspended. It’s totally unacceptable,” the 15-year veteran Hairston said about Goldschmidt, in his first full season in the Major Leagues. “He jumped over the bag to get to me. He was seven feet past the bag. It was terrible.”
Goldschmidt was called out by second-base umpire Manny Gonzalez but was not called for interfering with the Dodgers’ attempt to turn a double play.
“I didn’t realize he was upset until later,” Goldschmidt said. “My thinking is Justin hit that ground ball and they could possibly turn a double play, [so] go in there and break it up. Obviously you’re not trying to hurt anyone, but you’re in there trying to make it so he can’t get the throw off. Hopefully he’s all right.”
Hairston told a different story.
“Luckily I did everything right,” said Hairston, who spun and pulled his leg at impact. “When Upton hit me [on a fifth-inning double-play], it was totally clean. What Goldschmidt did was unacceptable. I looked at the video. It was atrocious. If Major League Baseball doesn’t suspend him, it’s unbelievable.
“The guy at first [Upton] should have been out for that. He [Goldschmidt] actually started the slide after the bag. He got me good. You know, play the game right. Major League Baseball says it watches every game. If they watched this game, he gets suspended. He’s a big part of their team, but he hasn’t been around the game long enough. He’s got to know better than that. He could have broken my leg.”
Some Dodgers suspected that Goldschmidt was motivated by a previous at-bat, when Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra took over for starter Stephen Fife with one out and a runner on first base in the fifth inning and drilled Goldschmidt in the shoulder with his first pitch.
As you all know by now, I’m not a fan of takeout slides or collisions in baseball, generally because they’re pointless and don’t prove anything.
As the rules currently stand though, there’s zero chance anything happens to Goldschmidt, and nothing should, because he was technically well within his rights to make the slide. Plus, he didn’t go in cleats up on his leg. However, one can see why Hairston would think it’s dirty, especially given it came after Goldschmidt getting hit with the pitch, as Goldschmidt quite clearly kicks his leg out at Hairston’s plant foot. I see some people arguing that it’s part of the slide, but please, if you’ve ever slid before, you’d know damn well you can control where the lead foot ends up.
Honestly, I think both sides are understandable. Goldschmidt was probably angry and wanted to take out his frustration on the Dodgers and did so legally, albeit a bit dirty. Hairston’s complaining stems from probably seeing his season flash before his eyes and because … well … it was a bit dirty.
Either way, I don’t have a problem with either player in this instance, but one thing’s for sure: it won’t be easing tensions between the two teams any time soon.