Rougned Odor said Andrelton Simmons was instigator as benches cleared
This happens like clockwork.
The day after, or the series after, or the season after teams have a heated moment, the assumption is that the offending incident will linger into the next game.
Such was the case Saturday, when Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister was asked if he expected the Los Angeles Angels to try to even the score after Rougned Odor's disputed slide late Friday spiked shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
Banister's answer wasn't like clockwork. To paraphrase him, "We didn't, so why should they?"
Of course, the manager said it much more passionately, as he referenced how the Rangers reacted — or didn't react — after Angels reliever Keynan Middleton drilled Elvis Andrus April 13 and broke his elbow.
Andrus hopes to return June 12 from a hit by pitch that the Rangers never thought was intentional. They don't believe Odor intended to injure Simmons, either.
"There are things that happen on the field, and there are different points of view," Banister said. "But I don't concern myself with too much of that. We don't, either.
"Our shortstop's getting well, though. He is almost close. How long has our shortstop been out? Seven weeks. Our shortstop is getting better."
Banister steadfastly maintained the opinion that Odor's slide wasn't dirty and was completely within the rule that dictates how a player can slide in an effort to break up a double play.
Odor was able to maintain contact with second base as he directed his legs toward Simmons as he tried to turn a double play. Odor's spikes caught Simmons on the left shin, and Simmons reacted angrily.
He eventually gave Odor a shove, and the benches cleared even though Simmons completed the double play to end a 6-0 Angels victory. The umpires did not indicate that the slide violated Rule 6.01(i).
Simmons was in the Angels' starting lineup Saturday night. The Angels weren't expecting any carryover into the game, either.
But the slide and Simmons' reaction have again sparked the notion that Odor is a dirty player. He has been accused of going in spikes-high before to break up double plays, notably against the Houston Astros and the Angels in 2015.
The Odor punch of Jose Bautista in 2016 has also affixed the dirty label to Odor.
"They're always going to say so," Odor said. "I just try to play the game hard. I don't try to play the game dirty. I play second base. I know what is dirty and what is not dirty. That's why I was surprised he was made at him. For me, it was not dirty."
Banister said that if people would watch the Rangers regularly and see the passion with which Odor plays, they wouldn't think he was dirty.
"It's unfortunate," Banister said. "Anytime something like that happens, there's obviously two different opinions on it. I do have empathy for guys when they're being affected physically.
"We live in the context of sport, and sport is played hard. The game is designed to be played with a certain amount of aggressiveness. This is not a passive sport. Rougie did everything within the context of what is allowed for him to do in the rules."
Dirty, though, implies intent.
"You've got to take a great big giant leap to say that you know what another human being's intent is in that situation and you weren't even there. I think that's irresponsible.
"Our shortstop, I think he got hit pretty hard. I'm not looking at the intent. This game is played hard. There is inherent danger on the field. I don't want any player injured, but that's what goes on on the field when you're playing hard and playing with the desire to win a baseball game."