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Elliot Johnson

Tampa Bay Rays — No. 37
Second baseman
Born: March 9, 1984 (1984-03-09) (age 26)
Safford, Arizona
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 5, 2008 for the Tampa Bay Rays
Career statistics
(through 2008)
Batting average     .158
Home runs     0
Runs batted in     0
Teams

Elliot Tyler Johnson (born March 9, 1984, in Safford, Arizona) is a Major League Baseball second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Contents

Major league career

Johnson made the Tampa Bay Rays opening day roster for the 2008 season. On April 5, 2008, Johnson made his debut against the New York Yankees, as the teams designated hitter. He had four at bats and recorded his first major league hit, a single. Johnson's brother is Leon Johnson who currently plays for the AZL CUBS as a pitcher who appeared in a Chicago Cubs Spring Training Game in 2008 he pinch hit for Rich Hill at the time he played center field.

Controversy

On March 8, 2008, in a spring training game involving the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field)[1] in Tampa, Florida, a ninth inning play at the plate involved Johnson, and Yankee Catching prospect Francisco Cervelli. With the Rays already leading the game, Johnson rounded third base as the Yankees threw the ball to home plate in an attempt to tag him out before scoring. Instead of sliding, Johnson decided to collide with Cervelli, in an attempt to knock the ball loose from Cervelli's glove, which caused Cervelli's wrist to fracture. Yankee manager Joe Girardi believed the play was "uncalled for" and said, "I'm all for playing hard, but I don't think it's the time when you run over a catcher in Spring Training." Rays manager Joe Maddon called the play "hardball," and that there was nothing at all dirty about the play.[2]

Former Yankee bench coach, and current Rays' Senior Advisor Don Zimmer disagreed with Girardi's comments, saying "I am surprised the way Girardi said what he did. The plate was blocked, and our guy bowled him over. That's the way to play the game. I mean, I'm talking about a guy who is like a son to me. But I can't believe he went after it the way he did, because that's not Joe Girardi -- and being a catcher on top of that."[3]

Johnson spoke on the incident saying that he never intended to hurt Cervelli, and that if he was safe on the play, and no one was injured, then it was no big deal.

References

External links

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