Breaking: Brett Lawrie

If you haven’t seen it, Brett Lawrie dove over a short fence in an attempt to catch a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to leave the game after missing the ball and taking a scary looking fall down some kind of pit of death in the bottom on the third inning.

He was removed from the game with a “right calf injury” and will receive precautionary x-rays, according to the team.

Update: The club’s official Twitter account gives us some good news: the x-rays came back negative, and the injury is being called a right calf contusion. Lawrie is day-to-day.

Here’s an image from the beginning of his dive, via @glogan86, followed by another, a fraction of a second afterwards, showing the point of impact on the calf, via @Minor_Leaguer. (You can also view an animated GIF of the incident at Getting Blanked).

Very quickly on Twitter the conversation turned away from concern about Lawrie– who appeared to be in a considerable amount of pain, and not just from a bloodied elbow, after getting up from the fall– or what remains of the Jays’ hopes for the season, but to just how preventable this injury may have been.

The Brett-Lawrie-can-never-do-wrong set, in particular, seem to wonder about the configuration of Yankee Stadium, and the closeness of this weird, empty concrete pit that appears to be between the camera bay and the field, in an area where players are likely to be hurling their bodies around in attempts to gain every possible inch towards turning a foul ball into an out– and they’re not wrong.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus takes it the other way, tweeting that “Brett Lawrie’s effort is always fantastic, but the risk of injury is always there because of it.”  He adds, “Guys who play 150+ games a year know when to let that ball go.”

Thing is, he’s not wrong either. And while it makes some fans’ heads spin that anyone could do anything but praise Lawrie for the tremendous effort, there is most certainly a point where Lawrie’s admirable all-out play shifts into reckless abandon. It’s something that he needs to work harder to keep in check, because this kind of scary incident is bound to happen again, and he’s far too valuable to the Jays to continue running such high risks of putting himself out of the lineup.

That’s not to say that they ought to tell him not to play hard, to somehow rein in this behaviour by force, or that he ought to be a finished product in this regard at 22 years of age, but as he matures the line between hard and reckless is something it’s best for everybody that he gets a better feel for. That maturation starts with making sure this is understood now.

It wouldn’t hurt for a lot of fans to hear the message too.

Fortunately, the initial reports indicate that this was just a frighteningly close call, not a catastrophic wake-up.


Image via Jim McIsaac/Getty.

Comments (94)

  1. When it rains, it pours…

    Current score in NYC: Yankees 4, Jays injuries 2

  2. Man that looked bad, I hope he’s alright.

    • Yeah that looked particularly ugly – he was doing a full-out dive, leg smashed into the railing protecting the photographers, then a six-foot fall onto concrete. Lawrie is as much a gamer as anyone so when it’s him that can’t get up from that, you know it’s serious.

      Just hope it’s not a broken leg from the way that leg came down on the back side onto the railing.

  3. If anyone needs me, I’ll be sitting in the dark, listening to The Cure.

  4. Brett Lawrie fell into the Springfield Mystery Spot.

  5. Snakebitten…………

  6. I heard a report that there is a trade in the works with Escobar. He is not playing today. Any news on that?

    • They said “scheduled day off” for Yunel. He’s out there right now, replacing Lawrie in the lineup.

  7. Why stop at half measures? They should put a pool of crocodiles at the bottom of that thing.

  8. Ricky Romero is arguably the worst pitcher in baseball (and cricket for that matter)…

  9. The expression of the fan leaning over the wall says everything that needs to be said.

    • I liked the photographer standing next to the pit of doom who immediately grabbed his camera, leaned in a started snapping away while Lawrie was on the ground.

      • Actually if you watch it the whole way through you will see that he starts to lean over to take a picture, stops when he sees Lawrie is badly hurt and then waves the trainers over.

        As they say, don’t judge a man by a split second in a GIF.

        • Yeah, that first photographer did wave over the trainer, but there was a second one who took a step back and then immediately grabbed his camera to start shooting pictures. Asswipe.

    • That fan looks just a bit like Ryan Braun.

  10. Why don’t they put spikes and poisonous snakes down in that pit?

  11. Jerry just said “no break”

  12. right calf contusion/bruise – DAY TO DAY

  13. wow, all of that and only a bruise? this should only add to the lore…

  14. He almost caught the ball too! What a maniac. He really doesn’t need to do that on a foul ball down four-zero in a July game.

  15. Just showed the inside of the pit, its apparently stocked with stay-puft marshmellows in case CC gets hungry.

  16. He’ll be pretty banged up for at least a week… I know a guy who fell 10 ft off a scaffold and despite having an MRI and x-ray that same day, found out six months later he’d in fact broken two of his vertebrae undetected. Yikes.

  17. A close call, hope he makes a full recovery. Take all the time to heal up.

  18. WTF is wrong with Lawrie? Jesus Christ.

  19. I hope the railing’s OK.
    Here’s the GIF:

  20. Holy fuck, this dude is going to kill himself.

  21. I’ve seen a couple of people online comparing the play to Jeter’s catch against the Sox in 04, which is beyond stupid. Jeter had that ball two steps before he ended up in the stands, I don’t think he intended to end up in the 2nd row. Lawrie knew that he had to go over the fence to make the play, and that makes the cost-benefit totally different.

    • I compared the plays, and it’s not stupid – If Lawrie had made the catch, uninjured, all would rave about his play-making ability. It would’ve been an amazing, dangerous catch. He gets hurt, instead, and doesn’t make the catch. I understand all the comments re: playing too hard, but to criticize him for attempting to make an out that he felt he could make in that moment is what I find odd. Cripes, he almost made the damn catch!

      • “If he doesnt get injured” Thats the problem I have with it…I have no idea how you dont get hurt on that play…If you decide to go jumping into a camera bay with a 6-8 feet drop after a ball which is a good 5+ feet out of your reach YOU ARE GOING TO FUCK UP YOUR SHIT. After seeing him do this earlier in the year.. it was a matter of time before something like this happened. I have never seen another Jay have more balls than Lawrie, and it was a hell of an effort, doesnt mean it wasnt utterly stupid though.

        • If the Jays played in the stands I feel Lawrie would jump over the tunnel to catch the ball, he’s fearless apparently.

          You see the video and he’s looking at the ball it’s already over the barrier before he even jumps. the dude is fucking crazy, glad that he’s okay though.

      • You’re welcome to make the argument that there’s no problem with him trying to make that play–I think you’re wrong, but I’m willing to agree to disagree on that point. But those plays are absolutely NOT comparable. Jeter didn’t dive into the stands on the off chance that he might make the catch–the ball was in his glove when he went into the stands accidentally. Jeter’s catch was also in the 12th inning of a game between two teams that ended up playing each other in the ALCS that year.

        I don’t think Lawrie meant to tumble into the camera bay but there’s an undeniable difference in the cost-benefit of catching a ball that’s in play at full speed and going after one that’s well out of play.

  22. I doubt he’ll ever play more than 150 games in a season, for reasons like this.

  23. Stoeten called this one a while back.

  24. I didn’t see the play. I saw he got hurt and the first thing that occurred to me was “how many umps did he piss off this time?”

  25. I honestly believe AA is intentionally sabotaging the team to tank the season so that in 3 years he can officially blow it up and start rebuilding. Nothing pains him more than seeing this team win

    • Smartest comment of the day. Either that or the comment by the most frustrated fan of the day. Obviously it must be the frustration causing you to say such silly stuff. See I can be catty too.

  26. Dumb play. Dumb design on the camera pit.

    I can read lips. Farrell, as he was looking over the edge, said: “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.”

  27. Holy fuck you actually know @Minor_Leaguer?!!!!

  28. When Lawire was catching in the minors he never wore equipment, he is unbreakable.

  29. What a retard.

  30. The next thing you know, it’ll be Coco Cordero getting hurt. Then the fans would have no one to boo.

  31. greg zaun just likened lawrie to forrest gump

  32. I know that Lawrie shouldn’t have dove like a fucking martyr, as most of us do, but what if an accident happened, where a played just leaned over a little too much and lands on the top of his head?

    If this happened to Lawrie, and not him going his best flying nun impression, Goldstein would change his tune, as would I.

    Safety always goes both ways.

  33. They put that pit there so that smart will let that ball go and stupid people will dive into it trying to be a hero.

  34. Oh My God who’s next?

    (But this one? Is on Lawrie. He’s shown burst of total stupidity before but this is a doozey. He had no business whatsoever going that hard after that ball.)

  35. Lawrie’s effort was not only refreshing, it was exemplery of what a major leaguer should be. I’m tired of watching catchers that don’t block the plate, middle infielders not standing in to turn a double play, and outfielders that won’t go hard to the wall for fly balls. I appreciate the effort Brett, haven’t seen this will to compete in years.
    Fuck the Allan Iverson mentatlity of: this is practice man, it ain’t a game, this is practice, practice….

    • Allen Iverson, problems aside was on of the most intense athletes of all time. He was not stating that practice is shit, he was stating that a room full of journalist asking questions about practice is shit.

      • Thanks for the insight Gary, though I wasn’t looking for a history lesson. Just an indelable example of the’ take it easy’ approach that is engrained in the minds of the modern day athelete. I remember Allen’s words any time the thought of giving my second best effort comes to mind.

    • Dumb.

    • The same Allen Iverson who, in game 5 of the 2001 ECF, played through a bruised tail bone and a elbow smash to the face which caused him to swallow mouthfuls of blood, so he wouldn’t be removed from the game by the referees. You do not know much about Allen Iverson. His mind frame is very similar to Lawrie. Dude was a WARRIOR.

      • Funny how it goes, the point of a second best effort is lost in the example used to illustrate a point. You may not like the ideas that are entrenched in my mind, that motivate me, but they arre mine. You cannot change this, Mr. Iverson’s comments that day will always be there for me, they insprire me to do my best, and never to give less than 100%.
        This was not a discussion of Mr. Iverson’s brillant career, skill set, or acheivements. Go to a basketball site to discuss that

        • fuck you’re an idiot in everything you do

        • You’re the one who brought him up, so stop being a bitch. And if you want discuss your emotions or what internally motivates you , maybe you should create a twitter account, get some followers and maybe they’ll care.

        • i am a central gonvrnmeet employee with grade pay of Rs.5400 who availed Home Town concession to kolkata from chennai by booking flight ticket to and fro by Air India. But, due to my father’s demise had to take the first available flight from kolkata in the morning by Indigo because there were no Air INdia flights from kolkata to chennai till 18.30 hrs. this was an emergency situation. Incidentally me and my wife travelled by Air India from Chennai and my wife and daughter travelled by Air India from Kolkata. am i eligible to claim the single return ticket. Please guide me. s b chakraborthy

      • Boom, exactly. And that’s not even getting started on the fact that the media perception of Iverson as lazy, etc had a lot to do with some not-so-subtle racism.

        • My best and last effort here. Iverson was a great player, fearless, and, and a pleasure to watch. There is no doubt in my mind that given his size, Iverson would have to outwork everyone else, every day to fullfill his dream to get to the NBA, let alone be a star.
          That isn’t the message he carried that day to other aspiring atheletes, and kids that played sports all over the world. His message was far less than that.

  36. Shhhhh..dont say this too loud, but our boy is 3 for his last 34. shhh… again….his obp is 311 for the year…..this isn’t good..but dont tell will be our secret.

  37. You guys are pussies; how do you tell a fucking golden retriever not to fetch a ball? The man gives it all, and that gains my respect considering the money these guys are paid. Sure, you want to protect your investment, but you don’t want to slow a guy like him down, in my opinion.

    • So Brett lawrie is now a dog?

      I love the defense of Lawrie’s actions by peolple believe they are defending him when in fact they are denigrating him by likening him to a mindless, unaware, lack of self control having red bull overdosed cyborg

      • Also, I’m pretty sure that my dog is smart enough not to chase the ball if I threw it over the guardrail on my balcony, even though he probably could survive the fall.

  38. Nobody told Lawrie that there is no crying in Baseball.

  39. No one’s fault really, but this should result in efforts by the Stankees to sufficiently pad that railing and perhaps put some type of rubber flooring in that camera bay (instead of the bare cement it apparently is). Like the stanchion that almost killed Max Pacioretty or the luge track in Vancouver, accidents highlight areas of previous unseen risk – the next time you don’t get to say “we didn’t foresee this”.

    And, now the Blue Jays should really be looking at areas around Rogers Centre that are potential hazards, ie anything metal that is not padded, any cement that is not padded, etc.

    May not be able to protect against everything, but you at least have to try.

  40. Sure it was an over-aggressive attempt, decently dumb, but it’s hard to blame the man for trying to catch the ball. The pit of death is a little bit over-the-top dangerous as well if somebody went barreling into that thing without being sure of where the wall was, you could see a serious gibbling…

  41. Sorry I didn’t identify myself, now I can’t get rid of this new handle


  43. Totally dumb. Jays privately fine him.

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