In the eighth inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks' 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Justin Upton his a ground ball that looked like was going to be a double play. Paul Goldschmidt was at first, but going into second base, he slid late attempting to take out Jerry Hairston, who was trying to make the relay throw to first to get Upton. Hairston went down and Upton was safe at first.
Aside from trying to break up the play, Goldschmidt was perhaps responding to his fifth inning at bat, when he was drilled in the shoulder by the first pitch that reliever Javy Guerra threw.
After the game, Hairston called out Goldschmidt, going as far as saying that if he is not suspended by the league, "it's unbelievable."
Goldschmidt naturally said it was something less than what Hairston is declaring. "My thinking is Justin hit that ground ball and they could possibly turn a double play, [so] go in there and break it up," said Goldy after the game. "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"
The issue with what Hairston says is that it is simply hypocritical.
Hairston is saying Goldschmidt should be suspended for a play he believes is dirty and dangerous. If he is to do that, then he should also call out his teammate Guerra, who came in and threw a baseball at Goldy. Beaning a guy is every bit as dangerous as sliding into a player. Both were done for the same reason -- to send a message.
Guerra did it because the Dodgers had not answer for him (8-12 and two homers in the series) and wanted to punish him for it.
Goldschmidt slid late into second to try and break up a play, but also to show the Dodgers that he was getting even for that beanball that was not warranted.
If Goldy gets suspended, then Guerra should join him. Now, Goldschmidt's slide was not as egregious as it was made out to be. He started his slide late, but it was not after he reached the base. It was just before the bag.
Hairston just has his pants in a bundle because he was the recipient of the spikes and slide. Sure it hurt, but the underlying issue is that pitchers shouldn't be throwing at guys. But that is how the game has been played. When you throw at a guy, expect retaliation of some sort. And Hairston, who has 15 years in the big leagues and is the son of a 14-year major leaguer, he knows this.
So get over it.
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