Are the Yankees Dirty?

Matthew CohenCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2008

A couple of days after a collision at home plate in which Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli suffered a broken his wrist, a huge brawl erupted today after Yankees utility man Shelly Duncan slid spikes up into Rays' second baseman Akinori Iwamura.

From the look of things, this seemed to be a dirty play. There is no excuse for going spikes up, full speed, into a fielder. Not only is it dangerous, someone's career could be in jeopardy if they get nicked in the wrong spot.

It's amazing to think that something like this could happen, especially after Yankees Manager Joe Girardi called for a more civilized style of play.

Duncan later remarked "There was nothing dirty about it in my eyes. There were no spikes up in my eyes. There was nothing at all intended to hurt him. I was just aiming for his glove and for it to be low enough to knock the ball out and I'd be safe."

The only problem with that statement is that he came in full speed, his spikes were up, and he caught Iwamura above the knee, near the groin. 

Now obviously he had to say he didn't intentionally do it, but from the looks of it, when you slide into the base that aggressively in the manner in which he did, then it has to be intentional. 

That's a little high if you are just going for the ball.   

The only thing positive about this whole situation, if anything, is that it might add a little "heat" to the rivalry, if this is indeed one at all.