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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Holliday’s hard slide aok with Byrd

As St. Louis Cardinals fans saw this weekend, Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd is wearing a specially-designed batting helmet with wraparound protection for his face. He is back after suffering multiple facial fractures when hit by a pitch on May 21.

Following his Sunday comments supporting an opposing player and in the process, disagreeing with a teammate and his manager, Byrd may need more than a fortified helmet when he returns to Chicago.

From his centerfield perch on defense, Byrd had a good view of Matt Holliday’s hard slide which took out Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro during Saturday’s game. It was a crucial play that helped St. Louis extend an inning in which they erased a Chicago lead and went on to a 13-5 win.

“I was hurt on the ground and didn’t think too much about the runs,” Castro told ESPN after the game. “He was really out of the base [path]. He didn’t have a chance to touch the base. He slid hard, real hard. It wasn’t clean.”

Cubs manager Mike Quade was tossed from the game by umpire Derryl Cousins after an automatic double play was not called. A heated debate ensued.

“I applaud somebody who will go in hard to try and break up a double play,” Quade told ESPN. “But my thing is, it’s not a legal slide to me. The way Starlin was clipped, in retrospect, the bag was the last thing on his mind. They don’t [call an out] unless it’s blatant. The rules are there for a reason.”

On his blog, Byrd defended Holliday. While what he said was hardly controversial in a general sense, it is bound to cause him problems since it can be perceived he is not backing his teammate.

Wrote Byrd, “The dude was trying to break up a double play. Holliday plays hard. You have to appreciate the way he plays. He’s not labeled as a dirty player. He didn’t go spikes up. The only thing that made it look bad was that he slid late. That’s it. Whether he could reach the bag or not, I don’t know. If I’m in that situation, and I’m playing to win, trying to get to a pennant race, I’d do the same exact thing. Even though we’re second to last and in fifth place in this division, I still try to flip infielders. It’s as simple as that. I try to play winning baseball, and that’s all that is.

“You call a play dirty when a guy is going out there trying to hurt somebody and that’s not what he did. If Holliday wants to go in and hurt somebody he will. He’s 6-4, 235, 240 pounds. That’s him playing hard. The way we take it when we see it is we want to defend our players at the time. When you go back and really look at it and how the game is played and how it should be played, there’s nothing wrong with that. If the umpires want to make their call and say he was too far off, so be it. Being dirty or being malicious, it’s not even close.”

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44 Responses to “Holliday’s hard slide aok with Byrd”

  1. Leebo says:

    Your right Brian, such a thoughtful, honest, and well articulated point of view will have no chance of going unpunished by the Chicago media and fans. LOL!! I think we have a new applicant for centerfield here in St. Louis, what is Byrd’s contract status. I would love to see him wearing the “Birds on Bat”.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      We sat year Bird at fridays game. He was stretching and motioning for fans to do the wave and smiling and interacting with the crowd and threw a warm up ball into the stands. He seems like a pretty down to earth guy.

  2. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Castro made a nice spacing move…………….Holiday (clumsily) attempted to admire it. At this point I’m sure Holiday was trying to avoid injury himself and really just appeared to ” gweeb” out………. he did appear to leg whip him though which is a no-no………… umpires call……… thats the game…..
    Personally…….I wish Holiday would get pissed……..

  3. crdswmn says:

    I wonder if Matt was upset at the negative attention that slide received. He looked especially awful at the plate tonight.

    I’m old school, so I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. He played hard nosed baseball, as he should.

  4. Brian Walton says:

    Monday lineup: Furcal SS, Jay CF, Pujols 1B, Holliday LF, Berkman RF, Freese 3B, Schumaker 2B, Molina C, Carpenter P.

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    This line up is quite a statement………….. It appears to be Skip against right handers…..mostly I’d guess….Theriot on Wednesday unless Skip is just a bust………….
    the Molina 8th is divine intervention………and I’d guess repentance for yesterdays debacle………
    Furcal’s locker…….between AP and Yadi suggests that Furcal appeared flat to Tony (along with yesterdays “be a hero celebration”)…………..I think that concerns me most of all………….

    Holidays recent attempts at making adjustments is a little disturbing ………… Unless he takes away the
    low and away pitch……………………. thats all she wrote……… thats all they’re doing is getting him to lean over, and then jam him backs……….the lack of gamesmanship on his part is discouraging to me…….
    Furcals only advantage over DD as short is that he is not a MM student………….. a killer advantage…….

    This team is ready for us right now……….. if we don’t pressure them from the beginning……… its going to be a long week……….. don’t forget that Garcia is in transition……… Cards are seen at +125 up from +110………… not good……. 5 runs wins it…………..

  6. Kansasbirdman says:

    Nice start. Furcal doing what he is supposed to, so Holliday’s hr wasn’t a solo shot.

  7. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Sweet…………….Matt speeds it up……….. how AP pulls of that pitch center cut is a bad sign…starting to lead with the left side again…….if he starts opening up to soon again…..pray for rain………what do you know…….a lead off hitter with a lead off swing……….. a miracle……

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I have to say that I see a difference in Carp……… he seems encouraged a little by these moves………his focus is more intense………not just angry bluster……… Furcal came to play…….. he wants that 12 million next year………

  9. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    good hitting,,,,,,,,,,,,,turn that line up over………..skip is really seeing the ball…….

  10. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Furcal does the work……whips the throw……….the real deal…….. Chris has good motion…..he’s lathered up though……. the roof is open for a reason…………

  11. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Carp may go 7……..tops……. we will see Salas today and Zski………..

  12. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Yadi and Carp are working well………they aren’t giving in, making it tough…….we need runs.

  13. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    60 thru 4…………..

  14. blingboy says:

    Interesting discussion by Chris Duncan today on radio. Tony was not happy about the strike zone last night, which contributed to Westbrook’s 6th inning meltdown. The home plate unpire was Jim Wolf, the brother of Brewer’s pitcher Randy Wolf.

    I’m sure he was committed to being objective and professional, but c’mon.

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    There is no way Carp come out for the sixth…………this is not a cult of personalities any more……. he has a half an inning for his team to pick him up………..other wise lets get on with it……….

    the tell isn’t in his heart……….his locations were absent the entire inning…….we can’t play stupid anymore……….. Skip and Matt hurt us in that ……………

  16. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    We have all the infield back ups………..but no sticks……….. ball has to leave the infield…sac fly…Slip is trying to stay on top of it…………….. real smart………..

  17. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Nice work by OD………..use them………..

  18. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    how is jay not at second on that ball in the dirt……….. no throw there

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Couple more bumps for Skip………….. the problem………..with the pressure around him…he won’t recover……he is going to go mental……..

  20. Kansasbirdman says:

    Even though we are grounding out pretty often still, I like seeing some speed and hustle and close plays at the bag

  21. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The bad news…………Berkman is still not releasing the bat on the follow through……….. that means his right should is still trash,,,,,,,,,,,, AP.for the money…….guesses o two pitches a foot out of the zone…………you can tell his priorities are straight………. Furcal is for real…….Skip, poor soul is winding down his career…….as is Tony’s if he keeps playing him……. Descalso’s swing is too long for his role………both Skip an Danny with 2 strikes just throw the head for contact…….causing all the ground balls……..only in St. Louis does this happen……….. Tony’s ideas of being decisive is to do improbable and brilliant things…………. he is loyal to his pets…….. if Skip plays tomorrow at second….. that will be a Tony statement the for me starts the beginning of the end………

  22. Kansasbirdman says:

    They said it was furcal’s first hit tonight, but he got a hit last night. Even tho the runner on first didn’t reach 2nd, he reached first on the grounder last night

  23. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    fielder choice,,,,,,,,,,,

  24. crdswmn says:

    I checked out of the game after the 6th. The bases loaded GIDP by Skip was the last straw.

    If we get swept in this series again, that is the end of the road, imo.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      Skip was robbed of the hit. He clearly touched the bag before the ball arrived, thhat was the difference in the game imo. We would have plated at least one, maybe two runs. Also no errors but plenty of mental mistakes.

      • crdswmn says:

        Even if Skip was safe, it would have been a fielder’s choice, not a hit. Only one run would have scored. With the momentum of the extra out that could have extended the rally, but there is no way to knowfor sure. I didn’t watch the rest of the game, were there anymore rallies?

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          We put some on base if I remember, the first batter against their reliever reached and he even walked one or two. We had some more opportinities but couldn’t seal the deal. Plus, when the game got a little further out of reach Tony put and left Boggs in (to save his BP) for a couple innings and another run scored, so might have ended up with a different cast in the show had a couple of runs scored on skip’s “hit”. I will have to do a better job with the language I use, I am still learning the stat rules.

  25. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Cards open at +120 moving toward +110……..7.5 is holding………

    Marcum is a good craftsman………… he will pitch inside, so he is vulnerable to MH..AP..DF………
    so……I’m guessing he won’t try…… that should elevate his pitch count………a few walks..if we will take them…………………

    the very large problem ………… if Garcia has that hesitation in his windup……..the game is already over……Brewers were cowed yesterday…..now they will be feeling it………. the winner in this game likely enjoys a 4 run margin………….. remember, if he has the Pause…….he will be nailed……….

    Albert is keeping his bat angle around 10 degrees……..he is lowering his hands though, attempting to speed up his swing…….creating the illusion personal empowerment…… he missed some pitches yesterday that were center cut……………in other words…..he is morphing back as his setup adjustments erodes………………

    I’m starting to see the end for NP here………. they gave him multiple injection on the elbow…….with improper therapy to keep the injured area from healing together………. he broke through the scar tissue on his own intuition…………. this 15 day is untimely………. unless something happens, he will be waved………………… Theriot’s little two day hitting spree….(by cutting down his swing a little) has set him up to do “whatever” if he sucks at second (who knows) maybe its him that is released……..

    Bottom line… if we are 6 back come next week……….. somebody is going to have to fall in a hole for us to catch up……… Reds appear to be tunneling……… that really isn’t helpful I’m afraid.

    Wanker alert…………………………

    • Nutlaw says:

      Why would Punto be waived? If he’s hurt, then he stays disabled. If he’s not hurt, well, he’s put up good numbers this season. Even Theriot – why wouldn’t he rank as a bench player? Who would push him out?

      • Nutlaw says:

        I mean, Cruz will be the first demotion when someone (Craig?) is ready to come off of the DL. I guess that if no one else gets hurt, then there will be a crunch when Punto comes off of the DL, but Descalso would be the one to be demoted because he could always be called up again later. He has been solid, but his offensive numbers aren’t flashy enough to get anyone else kicked off of the team.

  26. Brian Walton says:

    Punto will not be waived. Period.

  27. Kansasbirdman says:

    Wow congrats Jaime!

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