Notes, quotes and reactions to Infante injury
First, the basics: Omar Infante returned to the Tigers clubhouse after Wednesday’s win, the clubhouse largely empty as he used crutches to get to his locker. He’s in pain, his said, but x-rays showed nothing broken. He has a left shin contusion, and he said he also took part of the impact around his ankle, but that’s it.
Infante won’t play in Thursday’s series finale, Jim Leyland said. Infante hopes to have a better idea how much time he might miss when he wakes up Thursday and sees how his shin feels.
As for how he feels about the Colby Rasmus slide that led to the injury, he made that clear.
“That play, I don’t think he needs to slide into me like that,” he said. “I think that’s dirty. That’s a dirty play. I know you come in to break up a double play, but not like that. That’s too much. I know some players play hard and some players don’t think about another player, but that slide, that’s dirty. I mean, that’s too much.”
Infante said he saw the replay. He also he was surprised when Rasmus slid in.
Rasmus, meanwhile, said he had no intention to injure Infante. He also said his slide wasn’t any different than what he normally does.
“There’s nothing different than I ever do, I feel like,” Rasmus told reporters. “I go in hard every time and my intention is never to hurt anybody or anything like that. I was taught that early in this game and that’s how I play. I didn’t mean for anything bad to happen but it’s no different than any time I come in.”
“I just treated it like any other time when I’m on first base. Rajai hit a ground ball so I was coming in hard trying to break up the doubleplay. Nothing was different.”
Reactions from other Tigers players varied in degrees, but several felt the same as Infante:
- Max Scherzer: “That was very dirty. I didn’t like that at all. He didn’t need to slide into second base like that. That’s something where, if we were to retaliate on him, we’d get suspended, but really he should get suspended for making a slide like that. He slid way too late, when you look at it on replay. I understand playing the game hard, but that’s not a clean play.”
- More from Scherzer: “We’re really mad about that slide. That’s a very dirty play in my book. You watch it on replay, he’s spikes-up, he’s sliding late. Rajai Davis is running [to first] there. He’s going to be safe at first. You’re most likely not going to turn two there. There’s no reason to slide in like that. That’s why I said I feel like he should be suspended. Obviously our nature is we want to retaliate, but when we retaliate, we get suspended. It really should be his suspension. If MLB can look at me and judge whether I hit [a player] and I should get a suspended, well, can’t MLB look at him and judge he should get a suspension?”
- Torii Hunter said the slide on Infante was the main reason he was frustrated enough to react to a hit-by-pitch off his shoulder two innings later: “They’re not going to try to hit me right there, not with Miggy behind me and 6-0. That’s not why I was upset, trust me. I’m not upset with anyone there.”
- More from Hunter: “I’m here to win. You take away somebody like that that’s very important to our ballclub, I’m upset. I’m a veteran guy. I want to win. It ain’t about stats. It ain’t about selfishness. I want to win. And when you take out a guy dirty like that, I’m upset.”
- Hunter on the slide: “The lateness of the slide, the spikes were high, it was all wrong. 5-0. Rajai Davis is running. It made no sense to do that at all. I’ve been around the game. Trust me, I’ve broken up a lot of double plays. You’re not going to do it that way. With Rajai running, 5-0? Come on. He knows he messed up. Look in the mirror.”
- Jhonny Peralta on the slide: “I don’t know. I don’t look at it really good, but I know it was really close.”
- Alex Avila on the slide: “It was a pretty hard slide. I was behind the play. To be honest, I couldn’t really tell from back there. That’s why I was asking Jerry [Layne] and the umpires what they saw, because in that situation I’m kind of looking towards first already, starting to head that way to back up. I couldn’t really tell, but I saw the replay, and it was a hard slide.”
- Rasmus on any concern about retaliation: “I’m going up there ready to hit. If they hit me, that’s part of the game, too. Take it, put some ice on it, and go on about my business.”