According to Kansas City Royals reporter Josh Vernier, 28-year-old Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is day-to-day with a mild left knee sprain and contusion after a controversial slide last night. The injury took place when Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie slid late into second with his cleats up and collided with Escobar’s left leg.
Lawrie, known for his gritty play-style, immediately checked on Escobar after the slide when seeing him in pain. Benches would clear after the play, but things settled down pretty quickly after former Royal Billy Butler went over and explained what happened to his former teammates. Escobar would have to be carried off the field last night with the help of the trainers once the drama ended, leaving many fans worried that he could be out for an extended period of time.
After the play, Twitter exploded as fans across baseball debated as to whether Lawrie had the intent of hurting Escobar when going into second. At the time of the play, it was a 4-4 game in the seventh with the Athletics having a chance to take the lead with a man on first. Baseball players are often criticized across the league for not playing hard, but it seems like whenever they do, and an injury occurs, people complain.
Lawrie is known across the league as a guy who gives it his all on the diamond, no matter what. It appeared he was just trying to put his team in the best possible situation to win with that slide. By no means was it the correct play, but it doesn’t mean it was on purpose. Lawrie just barely beat the throw at second but was tagged out after going over the bag. It was a huge play in the game as a whole even when taking the injury away.
After the game, Lawrie said multiple times to reporters that he would never try and hurt someone on purpose. He noted that Escobar was on top of the bag, and that’s where he slid and something unfortunate just happened, it’s baseball. Former Oakland Athletic outfielder Eric Byrnes, who was also known for playing reckless, reached out to Lawrie after the game on Twitter saying, “Keep playing the game the right way my man…”
At the end of the day, it’s just great to know Escobar is going to be back on the field sooner rather then later. He’s a major part of this Royals team that made it all the way to the World Series in 2014, and was off to an exciting 8-2 start in 2015. Not to mention Alcides started his first ten games of the season batting a strong .326 with three doubles and five RBI. The Kansas City lineup is going to miss Escobar up at the top of the order the next few days. Former first round pick Christian Colon is going to have to produce in his place if the Royals hope to keep their hot start going.