Major League Baseball Needs to Stop With the Stupid Old School Rules
I wasn't going to produce this column until I saw idiotic New York Mets Anal-ist Keith Hernandez agree with the premise Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Ureña should have hit Atlanta Braves rookie wunderkind Ronald Acuña Jr. with a pitch to start Wednesday nights game....
Here's the idiot Hernandez who clearly has taken too many shots to the head with his take:
In case you're wondering--the incident both me...and Hernandez refer to is this:
And yeah, as a life long Braves fan this pissed me off. But I'm not going to get into the minutia of what happened, instead it's the why part that makes me angry.
Major League Baseball has been struggling with ways to make themselves part of the current sports "Pop Culture". In some ways they've adapted--becoming marginally better on social media, being more proactive in promoting players and stars.
But every time they find a kid like Acuña who at age 20, captured headlines and attention for having good, clean fun playing baseball and doing amazing things---"The Code" reappears....
Old school baseball guys like Keith Hernandez and others from a bygone era seem to be of the belief the only way to keep the game honest is to occasionally do something dirty, something to keep people from expressing themselves.
In this instance, the pitch thrown was the single hardest first pitch Ureña has ever thrown in his career and soundbites aside---its quite clear what he was doing.
That "Message" pitch could have ended Acura's season and put a huge dent in the Braves chase for a National League East title. And it came from a 3-10 pitcher on a team who is arguably one of baseball's youngest and worst team.
It's also a shining example of why "The Code" needs to change.....NOW....
A 97 mph baseball can do serious damage to someone. A 97 mph pitch thrown with no regard for the person getting hit is wrong on literally every level.
If the Marlins are that upset Acuña hit 3 leadoff home runs in 3 games---throw a pitch in the dirt. Throw it to the backstop. Walk him. Or challenge yourself to beat him and show everyone you are a great pitcher.
But for every step forward baseball takes---things like this happen and questions again arise. Yeah, I get it if you have a player who spikes an opponent deliberately or completely hot dogs it on the field, you want to reel them in a bit.
In this era, most teams have their own internal policing to stop behavior like that. Baseball players don't...or at least rarely go out with the intent of injuring another player. Which this clearly was.
Until the league office steps up, makes a statement and puts a stop to it--Major League Baseball will always be a slow-paced, wooden and lacking personality. The league desperately needs exciting, fun personalities to light up fans and grow the game.
Stop letting the "Old School" rules from a long-ago era put a damper on their attempts at staying relevant.