After Bryce Harper was drilled in the ankle by Trent Thornton in Friday's Spring Training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, some suggested the team may have targeted the Phillies star.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo is having none of that.
#BlueJays manager Charlie Montoyo on Trent Thornton hitting Bryce Harper today: "We’re all hoping one of the best stars in baseball is not hurt, but everybody knows it wasn’t on purpose. Of course not. We’re not going to put out a four-man outfield to hit the guy in the leg."— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) March 15, 2019
These two teams aren't even in the same league! What would be the motive here?
He sounds irritated by the notion that the team would stoop so low as to drill Harper intentionally, and he has every right to be. There's no bad blood between Harper and the Blue Jays, and in the replay of the incident, Thornton turns away in what appears to be disgust over a mistake pitch.
And to top it all off, as Montoyo said, the team was employing a four-man outfield during the at-bat. If they had any preconceived notions of plunking him, running such an outrageous defensive alignment would be pointless.
Unless you're an extreme skeptic who thinks the Blue Jays are playing mind games with the league right now, it would be wise to drop the whole argument over intent. It was a mistake pitch in a Spring Training game. Suggesting otherwise is absurd.