Wouldn’t it be nice if baseball were, like, fun?
I’m not asking for baseball teams to suddenly golf clap when an opposing batter calls his shot and bat flips the lumber into the summer sky. But it’s time some of you all get over these incredibly stupid unspoken rules, because we tend to talk about them a hell of a lot.
On Monday, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a shot into the stands, which isn’t noteworthy. Tatis Jr. will be hitting bombs with regularity over the next decade, so it’s time to get used to that.
What was noteworthy is that he was sitting on a 3-0 count when he hit it out. That along with other context meant that the Rangers were good and mad the rest of the night. And we were supposed to be mad right along with them.
Sorry, I’m all out of expletives to give. I can’t go to the store without a mask. I can’t see family and friends until the world comes back to normal. I say it’s the perfect time to reconsider baseball’s unspoken rules.
With the score 10-3 in the seventh, Juan Nicasio was supposed to be able to fire a strike without so much as a second thought from the batter’s box. Tatis instead decided to not throw away his shot and turned a 7-run game into a 14-3 laugher.
That’s when shenanigans ensued.
After the game, Rangers manager Chris Woodward, feelings immensely hurt, spoke to the media.
"There's a lot of unwritten rules that are constantly being challenged in today's game," Woodward, said, via CBS Sports.
"I didn't like it, personally. You're up by seven in the eighth inning; it's typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It's kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not right. I don't think we liked it as a group."
Padres manager Jayce Tingler echoed the sentiment, explaining there was a take sign that was missed.
The next chapter in this old story was for the player to offer a mea culpa. Here's Tatis Jr., apologizing for being good at what he does.
I’d roll my eyes but I’m too exhausted.
Don’t flip your bat. Don’t stand and admire the bomb you just hit. Don’t show up the batter. Don’t swing at a 3-0 cupcake when you have a big lead.
Baseball remains my favorite sport. But it also needs some self-reflection. Perhaps fans wouldn’t care if the games lasted four hours if teams nurtured personality over manners.
Or we could always add to the rules. If you are down big and get behind in the count with the bases loaded, maybe don’t throw it down the middle to the hottest hitter in baseball.
Forget my argument that the sport needs to let down its hair a little. The fact remains that no lead is safe.
This is a crazy season baked into an insane year. Extra innings start with a runner on second. Doubleheaders are now more prolific than the food in the ballpark and the fans are nowhere to be seen.
It’s time to maybe, perhaps, possibly consider turning up the fun and turning down the faux outrage.
We all need a little more levity. I’m truly sorry for Nicasio and the horror he had to endure, seeing his best 3-0 effort get swatted into the lower atmosphere. But I sure had fun watching it go out.
So, I guess that’s something.