Following the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 victory on Sunday over the Reds, Cincinnati Manager Bryan Price voiced his displeasure with a play from the fifth inning in which Jason Heyward attempted to take third base while Matt Carpenter scored at home.
“I thought that was a bad slide in there,” said Price in his post game media session. “I thought that was a dirty slide and I didn’t like that at all,” Price said. “I thought — he’s not a dirty player, but I just thought it was a bad slide and a dirty slide. It could have really affected Frazier and I’m not happy about that and nor are any of our players. Hopefully we’ll be able to use it as fuel in this series to find ways to win games like today.”
Heyward explained yesterday that he was merely trying to get the base quick and had no intent of a dirty play. He also checked to make sure Todd Frazier was okay from the slide.
On Monday, the Cardinals outfielder used a question about his aggressiveness on the base paths to revisit the topic.
“It’s the way I play baseball as far as running,” said Heyward. “I just tried to make sure we got that run home yesterday. It’s a smaller field there, ball was hit pretty hard in the corner. They had a great relay. I think I watched the replay and saw Brandon looked to throw home and he was like no, we’re going to take this other out–and that’s kind of what I wanted. To take the attention away from the plate–not that Carp wasn’t going to make it, but just didn’t want to leave any question.”
“Managers got to stick up for their guys when they think something has happened, I get that,” weighed-in Manager Mike Matheny, who understood where Price was coming from but offered his own support for Heyward. “I’m going to say it was a late, hard slide but I also saw that he ended up right on top of the base.”
“Honestly, I was surprised to hear that,” offered General Manager John Mozeliak, who learned of Price’s comments earlier today. “Think about the play itself, Heyward probably didn’t even think there was going to be a play–most likely going to go home. More importantly, Brandon Phillips makes a very heads-up play and throws a strike to third. (Heyward’s) coming in hard, he’s also a big guy. I don’t think there was anything wrong with that slide.”
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