During my lunch break today, I had occasion to do a bit of internet surfing. And one of the places my surfboard came to rest was this article by Nate Scott who pens for USA Today. The thrust of the article--if you don't have time to click on the link-- is he thinks some of the old unwritten rules of the game of baseball are stupid. You know, the accepted brush back pitch, not showing up the other team, hot-dogging, etc.
Mr. Scott points to an incident in the blowout of the Yankees by the Astros Tuesday night. Carlos Gomez of the Astros, with his team already leading by a 9-0 score, just misses a Chris Capuano pitch to the point of producing a routine fly ball. Capuano then flips his bat toward his own dugout and mutters something. Some of the Yankees yell at Gomez, including manager Joe Girardi, and afterwards claim that Gomez should "play the game the right way". Gomez yells back, and...well...boys will be boys ensues.
Scott says this and other "internal policing" rules should go the way of the dinosaur. And somehow he totally whiffs on the fact that Gomez is a known hot dog in the sport who is always searching for the spotlight. He also doesn't seem to get that when Gomez, with his team leading big, curses himself and flips his bat he is not berating himself as much as he is showing up the pitcher...in effect saying "That bum threw me a pitch I should have hit to Portugal...and I missed it." Does Gomez consider what his actions say to the pitcher and the crowd? Of course not.
If this childish and self aggrandizing behavior isn't pointed out and halted by the players themselves, guess what? It doesn't get halted at all. Then soon we will have to put up with the same kind of ridiculous and me-first behavior we see in NFL football on a weekly basis. Make a tackle...stomp around the field, pound your chest, huff, puff, and and let out a primal scream. Run for ten yards...and act like you've won the game single-handedly in the first quarter. We see enough of the baseball diva behavior the way it is without allowing it to blossom into the whole show like the NFL does.
Mr. Scott, who is quick to call out what he deems an "old fogy" mentality, even goes so far as to say that the Gomez behavior should be considered a "good thing" in that he is still competing in a blowout. I guess that a 9-0 lead in a team sport isn't good enough? The player should also show that he is ready and anxious to "pile on" no matter how it makes the opposing players or fans feel? Again..it's all about me with today's players and gentlemanly play is "old fogy" stuff.
Maybe today's players, and writers, would do well to re-visit the sport as it was played by the gentlemen of the 19th and early 20th century; we might all appreciate the individuals playing it more.