Rays' Kevin Kiermaier on Taking Blue Jays' Data Card: 'I Never Even Looked at It'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 22, 2021

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier reacts after the Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays during a baseball game Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier claims he did not look at the Toronto Blue Jays data card that he picked up after being tagged out in the sixth inning of the Rays-Jays game on Monday.

"I never even looked at it, I'll say that," Kiermaier told Arash Madani of Sportsnet. "But at the same time, I'm not going to drop it or hand it back."

Madani provided detail, highlights and more Kiermaier quotes.

Arash Madani @ArashMadani

Spoke w/ Kiermaier. These are his comments. <br> <br>Around 5:20 pm, Kevin Cash came out to speak with Charlie Montoyo about it. <br> <br>The Jays are pissed. As a team source told me, "if there’s one card we wouldn’t want any opponent to have, it’s that one" <br> <br>More at 6:30 pm on <a href="https://twitter.com/Sportsnet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Sportsnet</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rp6iaGNPwM">pic.twitter.com/Rp6iaGNPwM</a>

The Rays ended up winning Monday's game 6-4.

The Kiermaier incident brought forth a host of opinions.

"Kiermaier did absolutely nothing wrong," Chris Carlin of ESPN Radio tweeted."Bad on Kirk for dropping it. Sorry."

The Toronto Star had this take, per an opinion piece from Mike Wilner.

Toronto Star Sports @StarSports

Was Kevin Kiermaier scooping up Alejandro Kirk's cheat sheet the morally correct thing to do? No. Would everyone on the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlueJays</a> have done the same thing? Yes.<br><br>If you don’t want important information stolen, take better care of it. New <a href="https://twitter.com/Wilnerness?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Wilnerness</a> column:<a href="https://t.co/29ksxafHg8">https://t.co/29ksxafHg8</a>

Tao of Stieb, a Sportsnet blogger, tweeted this perspective: "I would have more respect for Kiermaier if he just owned it. If he saw it and picked it up, so be it. All this 'aw shucks, I didn’t even, I don’t know, I just handed it to someone and never heard of it again' is pretty fake."

As Kiermaier noted, he did not give the card back.

This incident occurred during a very important series with postseason ramifications for both teams.