On the heels of the recent Rick Porcello suspension due to plunking Ben Zobrist, another baseball retribution situation reared its head on Wednesday night when the Tigers played the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays’ Colby Rasmus went into his slide really late at second base trying to break up a double play, and in the process nearly broke Omar Infante‘s leg. After watching replays, it was clear Rasmus started his slide way too late and essentially threw his full body weight into the general vicinity of Infante’s knee.
This is a clear no-no in baseball.
As some of you may know, I recently wrote an article at Freep.com, essentially urging the Tigers to focus on winning baseball games, and not worrying about retribution and unwritten baseball rules. Unwritten rules are a part of baseball, but in the Tigers most recent situation, I thought the Tigers might have been a bit oversensitive. Worse, they allowed the situation to affect their focus when winning is really the ultimate up yours gesture you can make towards another team.
What Colby Rasmus did Wednesday night, however, I cannot accept.
While I don’t think we can say that Colby Rasmus went into second base with the intention of hurting Omar Infante, the fact is he has played enough baseball to know better. He could have seriously injured Infante on that play, a broken leg or torn ACL is something that could affect his career for a year.
I may not believe that retribution is always warranted, but I will say this, I won’t be surprised if Rasmus gets one in the ribs when he is batting tomorrow. And hopefully Toronto manager has him in the lineup to take his medicine. Colby Rasmus shouldn’t even be surprised.
I do urge the Tigers to do the plunking right. Send the message, but don’t come in near the head. If they come in up high, they aren’t any better than what they have been complaining about.
Justin Verlander…it’s up to you to enforce that rule that is unwritten, and make sure that Colby Rasmus understands what he did wasn’t right and the Tigers won’t continue to accept this stuff.
But after you do it, move on and win the game.