Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar didn’t like the hard slide by Oakland’s Brett Lawrie in Friday’s game, and Escobar said he didn’t receive Lawrie’s postgame text-message apology.
That was the response from Escobar before Saturday’s Royals-A’s game that he did not start while he recovers from the knee injury delivered by Lawrie at second base.
After the game, Lawrie said a hard baseball play was his lone motive. Escobar was receiving treatment Friday and not available to comment. He did on Saturday and said Lawrie was being overly aggressive.
“In that situation for me, that’s a dirty slide,” Escobar said.
Lawrie defended the play, saying he was trying to break up a potential double play, but Escobar disagreed.
“It was not a double-play situation right there,” Escobar said. “He could slide more easily.”
The double play was in order, as the ball off the bat of Josh Riddick ricocheted off the foot of pitcher Kelvin Herrera and to third baseman Mike Moustakas. The Royals were in a shift, which meant Escobar was covering second base.
Many believed Moustakas’ throw would go to first, but he shuffled and tossed the ball to Escobar, who was stretched out at second base somewhat like a first baseman about to receive a throw.
Lawrie came in with his left cleat up and caught part of Escobar’s left calf as he slid through the shortstop.
Royals second baseman Omar Infante, standing behind the play threw up his arms, and Escobar heard him say, “Why did you slide like that?”
Escobar was helped off the field and the Royals received good news with the injury report: A knee sprain and bruise.
Manger Ned Yost said Escobar could play Saturday. He entered the game with a streak of 172 consecutive games. Last year, Escobar became the first shortstop to start in all 162 games since the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins in 2007.
Christian Colon started at shortstop on Saturday.
Before Saturday’s game, Lawrie told a San Francisco Chronicle reporter that he received Escobar’s number from the Royals’ Eric Hosmer on Friday night and sent Escobar a text message that included an apology. Lawrie told the reporter he received a reply to his apology text, which said in Spanish, “That’s stupid, you did it on purpose.”
But Escobar told Mike Swanson, the Royals’ vice president for communications and broadcasting, that he never received a text message from Lawrie and showed Swanson his message timeline. Escobar also said through Swanson that he would have responded in English if he was sent a text message in English.