In Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game, Mike Lowell made that’s pretty clearly a much more egregious plan on the basepaths. From the recap on ESPN:
A night after Lowell took a pitch off his left wrist — one of five hit batsman in the game — he had three hits and four RBIs. He was also involved in a little basepath payback in the fourth when he slammed his right shoulder — and a little bit of his elbow — into Cano in an attempt to break up a double play.
Cano bounced the ball to first as he fell to the dirt, just getting Varitek at first.
“I never had a problem with him before,” Cano said. “Today he threw his elbow.”
But Torre said it was a clean play. Lowell, who spent his first four professional seasons in the Yankees organization, insisted he meant no harm.
“They taught me how to do it,” he said.
If you see the highlight, it’s a little remarkable that Cano made the play at all.
The interesting thing for me is that no matter how you want to interpret the rules, in terms of actual interference in a play on the field, Lowell’s action is far more direct and disruptive than what Alex did… but Lowell doesn’t face the same kind of scrutiny and discussion that Alex’s action did. Lowell’s play is even noted as being, essentially, hard but clean.
Why? Is it because Lowell doesn’t carry Alex’s reputation? Because breaking up a double play is acceptable? Or is it as simple as Cano somehow making the throw to get the out at first?