Losing It

63900_sportspage Love him or hate him? The opinion on Mike Lowell from the Yankee blogosphere is downright schizophrenic after his four-RBI, two-collision performance last night. On the one hand are the commenters at Bronx Banter, who were positive — positive! — that Lowell intentionally plowed into Doug Mientkewicz. I believe he used a second gunman, just to be sure.

  • "Did anyone see a stutter step there? Was that totally clean?" — bobtaco
  • "He’s out there trying to hurt people. Its clean, but so is breaking his arm with a fastball." — Mattpat11
  • "Are we allowed to hit Lowell in the skull yet? Perhaps by a Farnsworth 100 mpher.." — matt nokes forever

Thankfully, cooler heads (including our own guest poster Emma Span) explained that Lowell was in the basepath, ran through the bag and looked back in concern before moving to second because the ball was still in play.

On the other hand, many commenters on LoHud want the Yankees to sign Lowell this offseason (assuming A-Rod walks, of course). They use such adjectives as "gritty" and "gamer," which of course it’s easy to be when you’re hitting .330 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI in early June.

  • "sometimes baseball is about toughness. lowell got drilled yesterday and took it to the yankees today. he hit the homer, knocked cano on his ass and annililated mienkiewicz. lowell is kicking the yankee’s $%$#% today. anyone on the yankees maybe want to match his intensity level ?" — randy1
  • "You can bang on Lowell all you want. If he was on the Yankees, you would all be calling him ‘gritty’ and a ‘winner’. We used have players like Lowell on the Yankees. Hopefully, we get him next year." — SJ44
  • "[The Yankees] should have never traded lowell in the first place" — the todd

The commenters mostly agree on two basic principles, though:

  1. That Joe Torre mismanaged the Yankees into another momentum-stifling, humilating loss to the Boston Red Sox,
  2. That Brian Casman is somehow to blame for the latest Roger Clemens fiasco.

The cries for blood are growing louder, and I wonder if a loss tonight might result in a head (or two) on the pinstriped floor.

39 comments… add one
  • If ARod did that (either play), err, forget about it, it’s too easy.

    Lar June 3, 2007, 3:08 am
  • Anyone who thinks Mike Lowell intentionally collided with Doug Mientkiewicz yesterday is a paranoid jackass.
    Nice win Sawx; let’s put another nail in their coffin today.

    Craig June 3, 2007, 5:43 am
  • It’s ironic (or maybe revealing) that the picture of Lowell running into Cano above also has some story about UFC extreme fighting.

    yf2k June 3, 2007, 7:05 am
  • my feelings about mike lowell:
    good player, probably a bit over his head at times [like so far this year], but a steady eddie, whose biggest downside is his second half decline…and a good guy [i don’t know that for sure, but i just think so]
    under-appreciated by sox fans and mgmt…remember, he was the throw-in with the beckett deal, and the fact that he’s actually contributed and earned most of his salary is a nice, surprising bonus…but, the plan all along has been to dump him and his rather hefty salary after his contract expires…hope you guys have as much fun with arod as we have…just kidding, most likely arod winds up outside of our division, maybe even the nl
    lowell’s play on cano…excessive, but not dirty
    lowell’s play on menky…unintentional…purely a freak accident
    summary: i like lowell and wouldn’t mind a bit having him on the yanks

    dc June 3, 2007, 8:26 am
  • Me, I love the silence from the Sox clubhouse and fandom regarding Lowell’s first collision. Arod barely touches Pedroia trying to break up the double play, and RSN is whining about dirty plays. But Lowell lowers his shoulder into and through Cano, and there’s barely a peep.
    At least it’s good to know the middle infielders are fair game. Just don’t yell.

    Woosta YF June 3, 2007, 8:39 am
  • Woosta- Arod slides into second, pops up, changes direction, and throws an elbow to the groin. Lowell running to second collides (shoulder to torso) with fielder who is blocking his path. NOT the same. FWIW, I am willing to grant that Arod was not intentionally trying to hit Pedroia in the nuts, but it was a strange looking play to say the least. Lowell did what you are supposed to do in that situation. Arod has a history as a preening self absorbed prima donna with a history of questionable sportsmanship, Lowell has a history as a classy team oriented guy. Let’s stop whining here. You guys loved people like Paul O’Neil. What would he have done?

    Tom sf June 3, 2007, 9:01 am
  • Can we all stop listening to the media hysteria regarding every Sox/Yankees game? Imagine what the Fox/ESPN modern coverage would have been like during the Thurman Munson/Carlton Fisk years! Those team really hated each other and played vicious baseball against each other.

    Tom sf June 3, 2007, 9:07 am
  • I only have a problem with that hypocrisy. You continue to draw a distinction where there is none. And rather than admit they’re hypocrites, you and your bretheren will stay silent or argue that false distinction. But after how many stood up for poor little Dustin against that big mean and dirty Arod character? Where are all those SF’s now?

    Woosta YF June 3, 2007, 9:38 am
  • I am frustrated by this tendency of every play having to be compared to another play in order to deem its merit, every action having to be justified as a counterpoint to another singular action, and every player’s morals and intent drawn in comparison to a person on the other squad as if each of these people and instances are part of sum zero-sum game.
    That cover? …troops rally against forces of evil… absolutely pathetic. Not funny, not tongue in cheek. Just pathetic.

    attackgerbil June 3, 2007, 10:09 am
  • some zero sum. Still early. Need coffee.

    attackgerbil June 3, 2007, 10:18 am
  • In other news, Mientkiewicz has a concussion, a cervical sprain, and a broken wrist. Oh yeah, the forces of good definitely prevailed.

    yankeemonkey June 3, 2007, 10:26 am
  • It’s not zero sum – it’s honesty.
    Arod throws an elbow to break up a double play = RSN and the clubhouse erupts in one giant whine about a dirty player.
    Lowell throws a shoulder to break up a double play = slience all around.
    All I’m asking: Where are all the SF’s (and the players) crowing about “how to play the game”? We can check the archives to single out hypocrites because there’s no difference between the plays on the field.

    Woosta YF June 3, 2007, 11:35 am
  • First of all, Arod’s “history” of unsportsmanlike behavior at the time of the Pedroia play consisted of the one Arroyo slap play. Which, albeit a bad play was one play 2 years ago. Whatever your opinion about him yelling at the third baseman it is not relevent to the difference in how the Lowell play and his pedroia play were preceived as it had not occured yet.
    Second, I find humor in reading the descriptions of these two plays written by SFs. Its funny how Arod went out of his way to get Pedroia (often specificially in his groin) while Lowell simply had Cano in his way. If you watch the replay, Lowell clearly changes his path to run at Cano to try to break up the play.
    The way I see it both plays were the same. Legit, hardnosed, and a bit excessive. Im just frustrated that people cant see the hypocrisy of complaining endlessly about Arod while defending Lowell.

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 11:58 am
  • In the end, I think this is much ado about nothing… the only one of ANY of these plays that resulted in an injury was clearly an accident.
    As for the Sunday Sports cover — Robbie Cano, the face of evil? But he’s got such a nice smile!

    Emma June 3, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • “Mark my words over the next 3 days there will be an altercation between the 2 teams. I will go further out on the limb and tell you it will involve Alex in some way or another. Diamonds to Donuts!”
    Posted by: Triskaidekaphobia | Friday, June 01, 2007 at 04:38 PM
    So I was right on one of two parts.
    First off, I know we are playing the Sox, but the Yankees need to start winning regardless of who they are playing. So we need to get past the rivalry and start playing sound ball.
    Secondly, Lowell’s play was dirty, but still part of the game. Same way a take out slide into second base is dirty, but still part of the game. If you have been on the other side of a take out slide you know that whether it’s part of the game or not it still hurts like a bitch. He was trying to help his team, just as A-Rod did on Pedroia. So was I pissed sure, it was Cano and he could have been hurt, but this isn’t ballet so the risk of injury is around every corner. Bottom line is don’t fly off the handle when the Yankees retaliate, it’s just the game. The Minky play was just bad timing. I lost my 2Bman on my HS team on the same exact play for the season. It’s just an unfortunate part of the game.
    Finally, please, please can we finally fire Torre (Sleepy). How many times do I need to ask.

    John - YF (Trisk) June 3, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • I never commented on the Arod/Pedroia incident. It was overblown, due entirely to the fact that it was Arod involved. If Woosta or other YF’s can’t draw a distinction between someone with a shaky reputation and history and someone who has a good rep, then you are the hypocrite, just like when you can’t see a difference between a shot to the groin and a shoulder block.

    Tom sf June 3, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Emma – You’re absolutely right – it is about nothing. The only problem is the Sox clubhouse bitched mighty hard, and so did their fans (including many here, Mnookin, etc), when Pedroia got the little elbow shimmy from Arod. If they’re going complain then, then those same folks should also be speaking just as loudly now.

    Woosta YF June 3, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Tom you insist that Arod has a “shaky” reputation but his bad reputation is in your mind. That is the point many YFs are making. Everybody freaked out about Arod’s play on Pedroia when the only “history” he had was the play on Arroyo 2.5 years ago. I havent followed Lowell’s career that closely but I can assure you that he has a “history” as well of trying to break up a DP with a hard slide etc

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • Also, you are delusional if you think Arod was going specifically for Pedroia’s groin.

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • From Newsday, Robinson Cano’s take on the Lowell play:
    “Asked if it was a dirty play, Cano said: ‘Yeah, of course. If he throws his body, I don’t mind, but if he throws his elbow, I mind.’
    Did Cano think about saying something to Lowell? ‘I never said anything to anybody, but I don’t think it’s a fair play. Everybody made a big deal about it with A-Rod at second base , but this is much worse. He threw his elbow at me.'”

    yf2k June 3, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • Cano is way out of line here. Lowell doesnt have a reputation for doing things like this so it must have been a total accident that his elbow was up. However, I would say this gives Cano a reputation for complaining about clean plays to the press.

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • WHINE, WHINE, WHINE — all ’round.
    I don’t have issues with ANY of these plays. Not Lowell’s slides & dives (ask Piazza about that too), not pitching inside, not A-Rod’s pop-up elbows, chops or “Mine’s”. I see guys trying to WIN, HARD but not recklesley. & Sox fan that I am, that includes Damon, Jeter, Proctor, & A-Rod just as much as Schill, Lowell & Varitek. Intimidation is part of this game (though not obviously as much as other major sports so it’s just more noticeable when it happens) — and always has been — when have middle infielders NOT been slide targets? For what these guys put out for the big money and to provide entertainment for all of us, man I appreciate it. Frankly it’s a privilege just to watch guys who can play at this level, and who try so hard to win (whether they’re having a good day or not) for their fans and their team as much as their contracts. May the epic battles continue.
    And get better soon, Dougie.

    Jim in CT SF June 3, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • Sam, I woudn’t say he’s delusional. After all, if A-Rod can’t have balls, then no one else can.

    QuoSF June 3, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • a-rods yankeeography is gonna look like a saturday night live sketch. you don’t have to defend him anymore. just start assesing who the yankees can use from the dodgers or angels. it’ll be alot easier to see the kind of player he is when he’s wearing one of thier uni’s.

    sf rod June 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • thats some solid analysis there Rod, im sure the yankees are gonna trade the one powerful bat they have left in their lineup.

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • “Lowell’s play was dirty”
    This is just wrong, totally wrong, not even close and any fan that thinks it doesn’t really know baseball.
    Sorry Trisk, you’re just totally wrong on this.

    LocklandSF June 3, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • Lockland, he lead with his elbows into Cano’s chest/neck. Cano didnt feel that it was a fair play either. But I guess he doesnt know anything about baseball. “Dirty” is all in the eye of the beholder…

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • Yes Lockland you are right I don’t know baseball. Been playing since I was 4, I am now 32. I have been a HS coach since I was 21, but yeah I probably “don’t really know baseball.” What was I thinking?

    John - YF (Trisk) June 3, 2007, 4:39 pm
  • Sorry Sam, you’re also dead wrong.
    This is silly, this is YFs fishing for something that isn’t there.
    Other than Cano, who is not really the best person to ask on this, give me a link or a quote to one person that agrees with him. I’m looking for a MLB official, MLB player, MLB Manager, a journalist that really knows what their talking about, scout, former player, former manager, anyone that is impartial and an expert.

    LocklandSF June 3, 2007, 4:39 pm
  • yes because MLB officials, managers,etc often comment on individual plays in games. Ill reverse it, show me one quote by any of those people who say that play was NOT dirty.
    For the record was Arods play on Pedroia dirty?

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • Fishing? Uggh. Did you read the entire comment I made or did you just stop at “dirty?” Anyone that has a back and forth with me knows I am rational and for the most part impartial when it comes to baseball. But if you feel the need to call my statement partial, then fine. I care more about the Yankees winning then anything else right now.
    “Secondly, Lowell’s play was dirty, but still part of the game. Same way a take out slide into second base is dirty, but still part of the game. If you have been on the other side of a take out slide you know that whether it’s part of the game or not it still hurts like a bitch. He was trying to help his team, just as A-Rod did on Pedroia. So was I pissed sure, it was Cano and he could have been hurt, but this isn’t ballet so the risk of injury is around every corner.”

    John - YF (Trisk) June 3, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • What Jim in CT said.

    attackgerbil June 3, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • “yes because MLB officials, managers,etc often comment on individual plays in games.”
    Are you serious? Have you opened a paper today? Turned on the TV? Gone outside? There isn’t anyone in the baseball universe not adding their two cents about that play.
    And guess what, the pretty much all agree.

    LocklandSF June 3, 2007, 5:40 pm
  • show me a link.

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • there is a difference between illegal and dirty. The play wasnt illegal, but dirty isnt a stretch. You also havent answered if in your esteemed opinion Arod’s play on Pedroia was “dirty”

    sam YF June 3, 2007, 5:46 pm
  • Hear, hear, Jim in CT.
    This horse is not only dead, its carcass has been picked clean by the buzzards.

    yankeemonkey June 3, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • Woosta, the differences in the ARod vs. Lowell plays at second are obvious. (1) ARod went well beyond the usual “break it up” move; (2) even if Lowell’s move was excessive, which I don’t think it was, it would be less of a big deal in that it would then be a response to ARod’s dirty play, rather than an unprovoked lack of class.

    Hudson June 3, 2007, 7:19 pm
  • Because people with class never takes the high road!

    Lar June 3, 2007, 9:42 pm
  • When I saw the play on Cano, I thought it was dirty. I didn’t like it at all. It conjured up images of Albert Belle vs. Fernando Vina, which was exactly like this play on steroids.
    The quote I found curious was from Mikey himself who said that he learned that play while he was in the Yankees organization. He said that they teach you that play.
    I understand the mentality behind what he did…but I don’t think it’s on the same par as a take out slide. I think the two are mutually exclusive.

    jp-sf June 4, 2007, 10:41 am

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