Nobody assumed that yesterday’s “incident” between Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie and Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar was going to blow over before game time but the controversial Lawrie slide may not have been as dirty as today’s press offerings have been.
Many beat reporters turned to Twitter this afternoon to share Escobar’s comments regarding last night’s late slide into second which caused him to leave the game early with injury. Escobar claims that Lawrie was aiming for him and that there was no attempt to reach out and apologize to him last night, as was reported earlier.
Susan Slusser, A’s beat writer for the Chronicle, has seen the text exchange, however, and was quick to report the contents on Twitter (she has also promised a full transcription in her article later so keep an eye out for that). She claims that Lawrie made a lengthy apology stating that there was no intent to injure Escobar and wished him the best to which a response was received, in spanish, that simply said:
This has more than a few Royals fans jumping all over Slusser and accusing her of homer journalism for not verifying that the number was actually that of Escobar. In the world of these fans, Brett Lawrie texted a random person who just happened to speak spanish and just happened to know who Brett Lawrie was and just happened to have an opinion on this particular matter. Quite the stretch of logic there. Slusser, as she does from time to time, engaged her detractors.
Susan Slusser is one of the most respected baseball reporters in the business and the fact that she even participates in Twitter is a testament to her patience. This is a classic no-win scenario where if she takes Lawrie’s side she’s a homer if she takes Escobar’s side she’s a traitor and if she is simply reporting both sides without making an official stance she’s gullible and weak. None of these are true. One Royals fans claimed that Lawrie is “all but a proven liar” which, had he known how words worked, means he’s not a proven liar but I’ll let that slide because we are looking at a situation here where the only person who appears to be a liar is Escobar who plainly said that Lawrie had not reached out to him and then claimed that the A’s play dirty ball because Sam Fuld did the same thing to him last year. That’s right, now Super Sam is in on this action. Fuld admitted to having a similar situation with Escobar but it wasn’t last year or the year before or the year before. It was 2011 when he was with the Rays. Susan Slusser reported that Fuld showed her video of the collision but it is unclear if she verified the authenticity of that video prior to reporting it on Twitter. Of course, with the fast paced nature of a press conference, it is within reason to believe that Escobar, who is a native spanish speaker, misunderstood the questions or didn’t elaborate his answers in the way an english speaker would. When asked if Lawrie had spoken with him or called, he may have said, no, where I would have said, no, he sent a text.
Make sure you visit sfgate.com and read her article when she posts the transcription of the text message later this afternoon and make sure you tune into today’s game, assuming the weather holds out, because it could be an entertaining one.
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Also worth noting, Escobar is so badly injured by last night’s collision that he can play tonight so all of this hubbub is over an injury that required a player to miss two innings of play and just very well may have been accidental.
Also, to the people who keep insisting baseball needs to change the rules for sliding into second like they did to home, stop saying silly things. The home plate collision rule has caused a ton of confusion and has minimally prevented injuries. Why don’t we just play with nerf bats and slow pitch beach balls and give everyone a world series ring just for trying while we’re at it.
Within seconds of me posting this, Susan Slusser posted these tweets.