What a week to be an unwritten rule in baseball, eh?
On Sunday, probable NL MVP Bryce Harper didn’t run out a popup so Jonathan Papelbon decided to choke him out. Pap was later suspended for the rest of the season and the team even pulled his jersey off of the racks in the team shop.
Then on Wednesday, Padres pitcher Bud Norris dropped this bombshell of a paragraph in a USA Today article about racial tensions in baseball:
“I think it’s a culture shock,’’ Norris said. “This is America’s game. This is America’s pastime, and over the last 10-15 years we’ve seen a very big world influence in this game, which we as a union and as players appreciate. We’re opening this game to everyone that can play. However, if you’re going to come into our country and make our American dollars, you need to respect a game that has been here for over a hundred years, and I think sometimes that can be misconstrued. There are some players that have antics, that have done things over the years that we don’t necessarily agree with.”
I’ve always sat somewhere in the middle with these things. My dad is about as old-school as it gets and most of my coaches from tee ball through college were as well. So I understand that side of it. But I also appreciate the HELL out of a good bat flip. They’re part of the game guys. And yeah, so is some sweet chin music for the next batter or for the bat flipper later in the game or in the season. Sure. Players understand that. If they rip off a monster pimp job and get a fastball in the ass the next AB, they might give a quick glance towards the mound but most guys know it’s coming. Hence Jose’s quote after the game:
Side note, it’s certainly not just the Latin American players doing it, Bud. Even if it was, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind it if it was a go-ahead dinger during one of your starts.
As for this specific situation last night, I wish I could say I wouldn’t have been chirping Jose as he crossed home plate if I was in the visitors dugout but I definitely would have. Long day, second game of a double header, your team is getting pounded, a kid hitting .220 hits his eighth career homer and sends his lumber to the moon right in front of the bench.
Then again, the Twins had intentionally walked Kipnis to face Ramirez, so I can see why he might have been a bit fired up to make them pay for that.
As long as people hit monster home runs and baseball still self-governs itself with rules that aren’t recorded anywhere, you’ll have these tiffs. And I, for one, can’t get enough of them.
KEEP THE CHIEF