Somewhere in the Middle

Hello baseball fans!

We’re in the middle of spring training now and it has been pretty eventful thus far as we have seen some rule changes (notably the “Utley Rule”), some late FA signings (Ian Desmond and Pedro Alvarez), and even a lifetime ban of, now Ex-Mets pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. However, we have seen some interesting news break just today, in the form of two different ESPN articles. One, an article of the uniqueness of superstar Bryce Harper, who is trying to change what he calls “a tired game”. With the other being a crazed rant by HOF great Goose Gossage, highlighted by the two lines “Bautista is a f—ing disgrace to the game” and “A bunch of f—ing nerds running the game.”

Although my opinion will be about as heard as a pin dropping in a war zone. I know I cannot be the only person and fan that finds themselves torn between “new school” and “old school” so here is my two cents on the subject.

As for Harper calling baseball “A tired game” I think that part is a bit of a stretch. Baseball is moving in the right direction and is pouring multiple resources into getting the youth of America excited about baseball again. In the article, Harper also talked about celebrating and showing emotion on the field, something I absolutely have no problem with. From tee-ball on, kids are told that the most important thing to do in baseball is to have fun. Now what message are we sending to baseball’s youth if they see a player bat flip a home run in a clutch situation and then they watch that same player get thrown at and hit in the next at bat? It shows them that when you have fun you get shamed and potentially hurt. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying there is never a time to throw at a batter, because there is, but it’s not every time someone shows emotion. Emotion is good for the game. It creates better and more vivid memories. Just look at the now famous Bautista bat flip, that apparently Gossage lost his mind over, there isn’t a single die hard Blue Jays fan that was watching that game that will forget that moment. An entire team and fan base showed it’s relevance again with one flip of the bat. That was pure raw emotion and there was nothing wrong with that.

As I said before, I’m not saying there’s never a time to throw at or hit a player but, it needs to be saved for the moments that are done with the direct intention to humiliate or disgrace a player. Let’s say for example a team is winning 5-0 in the regular season and a player hits and pimps a home run. That is vastly different than pimping a home run in a close playoff game. It’s cases like that and ones similar to it that should lead to retaliation. Gossage was WAY off base and out of line with the remarks he made and has really made himself sound like the cranky old man yelling at kids for having fun. As a fan of both the Padres, who Gossage helped take to the World Series in 1984, and of baseball I’m very disappointed with his remarks and know that I am not alone.     

Baseball is a game and games are meant to be fun. Thanks as always for stopping by and don’t forget to check back in to see what else is making it’s way through the five point five hole.   

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