Crisp played the game the wrong way last night

June 5, 2008 at 8:58 am 2 comments

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In last night’s 5-1 victory over the then first place Rays Coco Crisp was the talk of the Sox and not their new first place position in the AL East. His dirty play and lack of character overshadowed the accomplishment of the team.

Coco Crisp is blaming a sprained left thumb on Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett for what he called a “shady” play.

Here is how the play happened according to Sean McAdam:

It started when Crisp beat a pitchout in stealing second base in the sixth. Bartlett, covering the bag, put his knee down in front of the bag, with Crisp sliding in headfirst.

There is nothing wrong with this play. Bartlett did the right thing. It is his duty to cover the bag and not his duty to look to see if Crisp is going head or leg first. Buster Olney described it perfectly here:

You read Crisp’s words and they make little sense: You see fielders drop knees and feet in front of bases all the time. Is it up to Bartlett to check on whether Crisp is sliding feet first or head first? If Crisp was sliding feet first, then it would be OK for Bartlett to drop a knee in front of the bag? Isn’t that part of the inherent risk assumed by base-runners who choose to slide head first?

Coco Crisp, mad that his thumb was hurt in what he thought was a dirty play, decided to take matters into his own hands and proceeded to make a dirty play on yet another steal attempt on a pitch out.

And that play, which occurred when Crisp stole second base in the sixth inning, led to a takeout slide by Crisp on an unsuccessful stolen-base attempt in the eighth, a hard slide that knocked over second baseman Akinori Iwamura. The slide prompted Rays manager Joe Maddon to yell at Crisp from the mound as he was making a pitching change in the bottom of the eighth.

I watched this play and thought automatically that it was a malicious attempt to hurt another player. I honestly had no idea why because I saw nothing wrong with his successful steal in the sixth and didn’t even know Crisp was this upset about it. Crisp slid very late, very high, and very hard on a steal. He wasn’t trying to break up a double play for crying out loud, he was trying to steal a base. Dirty.

Crisp had this to say about the incident:

“That’s a shady play there. That’s how someone can get hurt,” steamed Crisp, who said he didn’t think he’d need x-rays on the thumb. “He’s not a bad dude, but that’s not something you do as an infielder. You can break someone’s thumb that way. I told him that when I got up.”

Crisp told Bartlett that if he got on again he’d be on his way to see Bartlett at the bag again. Crisp walked in the eighth. But the Rays had Iwamura covering the bag when he stole, not Bartlett.

Sound like a cry baby to anybody? How about a very dirty player? He saw that Aki was covering and not Bartlett and still made the dirty play. Cheap anybody? At least he admits to his bush-league actions.

Crisp admitted he went in hard. Maddon claimed Crisp had gone into the bag with the intent to injure someone.

“I went in hard to send a message. If I wanted to hurt someone, I wouldn’t have even slid, I would have jump-kicked his (butt). I was going in there to send a message. I did what I said I was going to do, unfortunately it was to the wrong person. I don’t know why they didn’t have Bartlett covering the bag. If it was me, I would have been there to take my own licking.”

Crisp is making a conflict out of nothing. There is no conflict and he keeps digging himself a deeper hole. He holds a grudge for a play that was clean and takes it out on someone else then undermines the Bartlett’s willingness to take his “own licking”. What a joke. Just stop talking!

Maddon was agreeably angry with Crisp’s antics.

Maddon initiated what he called a “long-distance conversation” with Crisp as he took out Jason Hammel and brought in Trever Miller. Crisp was standing at the railing at the top step of the Sox’ dugout.

“I saw his head bobbing but I don’t know what he was saying,” said Crisp. “He was looking at Tito [Francona], and I told him it was me, if he had anything to say to say it to me.”

Eventually, second-base umpire Rob Drake, who had heard the exchange between Crisp and Bartlett, went over to the Boston dugout and tried to calm down Crisp, but Crisp was still seething after the Sox’ 5-1 win.

So was Maddon.

“I was not pleased with the slide,” said Maddon. “There was something that happened earlier that I believe provoked him but I totally felt there was intent to hurt our middle infielder and that’s what I was upset with.”

Maddon had every right to be upset here. Crisp was being selfish and made threatening comments to another man and he sought out to accomplish his threats. Again, bush-league. Crisp needs to grow up and just play the game the right way. He has never had problems doing this before and has actually played the game hard but the right way.

This is way out of character for Crisp and I hope he realizes this. He is not a dirty player but his antics last night may linger with his character. His actions were un-excusable and he should come out and say he was wrong to save face.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

2008 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 Rays do right thing; Crisp puts self before team

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 19  |  June 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Now we get to see if MLB will continue to show favortism towards Boston. By what you say here, Crisp admits his intent. If that is so, he should be suspended. Any pitcher who throws anywhere near a Boston player, intentional or not, is suspended. Let’s see MLB finally do something against the blessed Sox now.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  June 6, 2008 at 6:28 am

    I think they will, especially after the benches cleared yesterday because Crisp couldn’t take his beaning like a man and just walk to first base. He definitely took his fair share of hits in the melee too.

    Crisp has shown bad character, poor judgement, and a thug-like attitude. I hope the Red Sox don’t put up with this attitude. He has been very selfish in his actions and has hurt the Sox in the process. He will get suspended and now they have to find another player to take his spot in the field and the lineup. Not a good time with David Ortiz out for Crisp to be acting like a punk teenager.


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