Baseball was my first true love. Everything about it appealed to me like nothing had before. The sounds, smells, atmosphere of the ballpark, and the unwritten rules that apply to the game itself. Don’t show off, ever. If you show someone up, there will be repercussions and they won’t be good.
Recently, baseball legends Goose Gossage and Mike Schmidt have spoken out against today’s players flipping bats, watching the ball for too long after hitting a home run, and celebrating their accomplishments while on the field. Gossage would knock someone on their ass if they did that to him. Schmidt was a humble guy who wouldn’t showboat if someone put a gun to his head. Neither of them can understand the mindset of this current generation of MLB players.
I must be an old soul, a baseball purist of sorts. I agree with Gossage and Schmidt. Everything is celebrated in sports today. Every three pointer, touchdown, and home run has flair attached to them. Some might question why celebrating a home run is worthy of a 99 mph fastball being hurled at your body. I get it. It happens because you don’t need to capitalize a great moment by being an ass about it. Bryce Harper, for example, is known for his loud personality and theatrics. Harper is one hell of a player, but what has he accomplished in his career that warrants such an ego? Has he brought a World Series Championship home to the Capital City? Is he an MVP caliber guy? If Harper blasts one off of, lets say Clayton Kershaw, should he expect retribution? Absolutely, yes.
Guys like Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, and Albert Pujols have earned the right to show off a bit. They are icons. They have carried teams on their back and won championships, provided memories frozen in the minds of fans forever. They earned their stripes though years of results. It might be seen as unfair to say that some deserve the right of on the field celebration while others do not. There are different rules for different people, especially in the world of baseball.
The moral of the story is simple. Get up, go to work, do your job, and go home. If you act like an asshole, more than likely someone is going to put you in your place. For those of us in the real world, it probably consists of a humbling experience like being written up or fired from work. For MLB players, the results are more likely a bruised thigh or shoulder. Gossage and Schmidt, two tough old bastards from yesteryear have it right. Sit down, shut up, and live to get another at bat.
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