With the injuries piling up for Team America in the WBC, manager Davey Johnson has finally dropped the atomic bomb for sports fans, using the F-word while being interviewed during the team's batting practice yesterday:
He used Kevin Youkilis as an example, saying he could never return to Boston if the Red Sox first baseman was injured playing catcher in the WBC.
"I would definitely had to gone out and said we had to forfeit this ballgame," Johnson said. "Yeah, I'd forfeit it."
Quelle horreur! Davey Johnson would rather quit the entire tournament than risk injury to some of Major League Baseball's most valuable assets? That's unheard of! There's no quitting in baseball! But really, if anything unfortunate goes down tonight in their elimination game matchup with Puerto Rico, I wouldn't begrudge Johnson for throwing in the towel instead of doing something silly, like have Youk put on the catcher's gear, have Jake Peavy pinch run for Adam Dunn or send Jimmy Rollins to clean up the clubhouse terlet after coach Marcel Lachemann had an 'accident'.
Answer Man "Downtown" David Brown thinks a little differently. He ripped into Johnson over at Big League Stew last night:
Can you imagine Tommy Lasorda considering a forfeit? Of course not. You could make a pretty good argument that Johnson should not even have admitted that the U.S. might quit, gulp, a baseball tournament? Maybe we won't always win, but shouldn't we keep trying no matter what? To Johnson, the answer appears to be no.
Well I couldn't imagine Tommy Lasorda forfeiting a tournament game, but on the same hand, I couldn't imagine him protecting young pitchers' arms from getting overworked, nor could I imagine him turning down oral treats while watching alternative lifestyle movies. The man would probably push his own grandmother into traffic to make sure Team America wins this tournament, so he's not exactly the man I want protecting my favorite team's most valuable players.