Enough Quoting the "Unwritten Rules" of Baseball, Let the Kids Play
Yes, I've written about this before and yes I'm writing about it again. The idiotic, outdated "Unwritten Rules" of baseball etiquette need to end.
And I say this as part of the demographic old enough to say "That's the way they've always played the game". In fact, I'm very sure several of my friends, should they read this...will say those rules are there for a reason.
Let's revisit the one in particular that seems to cause the most problems.
Home run celebrations.....
The latest happened just this week when Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox got really, really excited about hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals.
Anderson threw his bat hard in the general direction of the White Sox dugout after briefly watching his shot. He gestured towards his teammates and did a big "High 5" with his 1st base coach while circling the bag, taking pride in what he did.
Harmless, right? He never looked at pitcher Brad Keller, never looked at the Royals dugout or said a word to any Kansas City player. Which should have been the end of it.
Yet it wasn't.
When Anderson came to bat in the 6th inning, Keller plunked him. Yeah, sure, he and Manager Ned Yost called it a pitch that "Slipped" and was off target. The pitch hit Anderson in the butt, triggering a bench clearing skirmish and ended with Keller, White Sox manager Rick Renteria, coach Dale Sveum and believe it or not---Anderson.
My point here is this: Why? Why does this happen on a continuing basis?
Major League Baseball did a promotional campaign with their up and coming young players saying "Let the Kids be Kids". That's great but someone needs to explain it to the grizzled veterans on the field and lifer Managers calling the game for their pitchers.
Every...and I mean every...time a hitter shows some emotion after a home run, it inevitably ends with someone getting plunked. Most pitchers will throw to a spot where nobody will get hurt (there are exceptions Jose Urena) but the pitch is thrown to "Send a Message".
What's weird is MLB is contradicting themselves by (A) posting video of the brawl and then (B) posting video of Anderson and his bat flip--calling it as such.
Bat flips it should be noted are usually what trigger the retaliation move...
Guys----you can't have this both ways. Period.
Baseball needs to embrace celebrations and excited players like they never have before. The game desperately needs something exciting, fun and loose to lighten up the game. Even a little bit.
MLB constantly complains about the pace of games and trying to "Speed" things up to get the games moving faster.
Here's one way to stop it: If a player admires his handiwork on a home run, let him. If the opposing team throws at said player---yeah, you have the whole warning and ejection thing. How bout a suspension?
Not only for the pitcher---but the manager?
Maybe it solves the problem, maybe it doesn't. But at least it is a start...