3/09/2008 10:42:00 AM

Cervelli Hurt, Girardi Understandably Upset

Posted by Mark McCray |

Bryan Hoch of Yankees.com has the story:

Yankees manager Joe Girardi criticized the Rays for a violent home-plate collision on Saturday that fractured prospect Francisco Cervelli's right wrist.

But Rays manager Joe Maddon called the play "hardball," saying that there was nothing dirty at all about infielder Elliott Johnson's ninth-inning decision to hit the catcher hard.

The play occurred in Tampa Bay's 4-1 victory at Legends Field, as Johnson was trying to score on a Willy Aybar double to left field. Johnson lowered his shoulder and tried to jar the ball loose from Cervelli, who was guarding the plate as a relay throw came in.

Cervelli held on to record the putout, the second out of the inning, but he had to leave the game after being attended to on the field. Cervelli was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa for X-rays, and the Yankees said that his wrist will be casted on Saturday night.

"I think it's uncalled for," Girardi said. "It's Spring Training. You get people hurt, and that's what we've got -- we've got Cervelli hurt. I know they had an incident four or five days ago. I'm all for playing hard, but I don't think it's the time when you run over a catcher in Spring Training."

Maddon had a differing point of view, speaking with reporters before he learned of Girardi's comments. He would later decline comment to a second wave of reporters.

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