Takeout slides at second base are as deeply ingrained in the game of baseball as bubble gum and sunflower seeds.
It's just a byproduct of playing hard. Middle infielders are trying to turn the double play and runners are trying to disrupt them from doing so, which often causes a collision at second base.
When Chris Coghlan came bearing down on Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang, the South Korean rookie couldn't get out of the way in time and now he's done for the season and facing a long rehab (six to eight months) with a torn left MCL and fractured tibia.
Coghlan was contrite in Pittsburgh after the game, even sending a note over to check on Kang and express well wishes.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn't think it wasn't a dirty play.
"Believe me, nobody wanted to see that fellow hurt," Maddon said before Friday's tilt against the Cardinals. "It's going to be a very difficult recovery and he's very important to that team. We do wish him well.
"It's unfortunate that it happened, but there's no apologies necessary. It was a good baseball play."
Kang sent out a statement via his agent, Alan Nero, saying he doesn't blame Coghlan and understands it was a tough-nosed baseball play.
The slide created a bit of controversy in the baseball world in the 24 hours after it occured, but Maddon insisted that anybody who wants to blame Coghlan and call it a dirty play doesn't "know the game at all."
"It's a tough game," Maddon said. "There's a lot of hard plays - the baseball's hard, these guys are in great shape and they run fast.
"That was just a hard play and it's unfortunate that he got injured."