Angels, Yankees continue to collide over Teixeira's hard slide into Wilson
Torii Hunter would not go so far as to say that Mark Teixeira's bone-crushing slide (above) that sent Angels catcher Bobby Wilson to a hospital Friday night was dirty. But there was something about the play that just didn't sit right with the Angels center fielder.
"The plate was open -- I think he could have slid in and been safe just sliding in," Hunter said of Teixeira. "You can look at the tape over and over and say the play was clean or it was not right. It's baseball."
Teixeira was scoring from second on Robinson Cano's single to right in the third inning. The throw from the outfield took a bad hop toward the third-base side of the plate, carrying Wilson, who was attempting to make a catch and tag, right into the path of the onrushing Teixeira.
Teixeira, who reached base when he was hit by an Ervin Santana fastball, thought Wilson had the ball and was trying to block the plate, so he lowered his left shoulder as he slid and plowed violently into Wilson, who never gained possession of the ball. Wilson suffered a concussion and an ankle injury and was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game, his roster spot filled by catcher Ryan Budde.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, the former Dodgers catcher who was on the receiving end of several similar hits, called the slide "clean," but Santana thought Teixeira may have been trying to exact some revenge after getting hit by a 91-mph fastball.
"You're always going to protect your own; that's the bottom line," said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi, also a former catcher. "Mark's intention was not to hurt him. His intention was to score a run. If Mark sees the ball come up, he probably slides. He didn't anticipate the ball coming up. I feel bad for the kid. I've been there."
After the game, Teixeira said he "felt terrible," and that it "makes me sick" to know he injured Wilson. He tried calling the Angels catcher Friday night, but "he was on the way back [from the hospital] the first time," Teixeira said. "The second time, he was busy in the trainers' room. I sent over about five messages with five different people letting him know I hope he's all right."
Girardi was asked if Teixeira should have tried to help Wilson up after flattening the catcher.
"We're playing for something," Girardi said. "This is not a family reunion softball game. Tex is not trying to hurt anyone. Tex is trying to score a run. I don't ever remember anyone helping me up."
X-rays of Wilson's ankle were inconclusive because of swelling. The catcher will be re-evaluated Sunday or Monday and will probably undergo an MRI test Monday.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times