I don’t like when people from other sports drag hockey into their ugliness. Wednesday, during spring training no less, Shelley Duncan of the New York Yankees took a ridiculously late, high slide into Tampa second baseman Akinori Iwamura as payback for a No-Longer-Devil Rays slide into home that injured minor league catcher Francisco Cervelli earlier in the week.
What does this have to do with hockey? Absolutely nothing unless you’re Rays manager Joe Maddon:
No question that was a blatant attempt to hurt Aki…It was set up. It was planned. It was premeditated. It’s all the above. I don’t know what the difference is between that and a high stick in hockey. But it was that bad.
What does hockey have to do with this? Doesn’t every sport have late hits and premeditated payback? (Sit down golf and tennis; I’m not talking to you). Has Maddon never watched football or basketball? Or maybe even this new sport called boxing? Why did he see a bad slide and go straight to hockey?
On a completely unrelated note, Chris Pronger wasn’t suspended for his apparent non-stomp on Canuck Ryan Kessler.
Now where was I?