Last Florida Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez took a mighty swing and crushed a ball over the left field fence in a win over the Atlanta Braves. And considering it was his first major league homer, Fernandez lingered at home plate for a couple of seconds to admire his blast.
And then all hell broke loose. After Fernandez crossed home plate he was confronted by Braves catcher Brian McCann. As those two jawed Braves third baseman Chris Johnson ran to home plate as if he wanted a piece of Fernandez.
As a kid—before my love for basketball developed—all I wanted to be was play in the majors. Had I realized my dream and hit my first homer, not only would I have admired my shot but I would have moonwalked, cabbage patched, wopped and electric slid around the base paths.
I would have made it a big frigging deal.
Because hitting your first homer is a big frigging deal.
Don’t basketball players hold their shooting motion after game-winning shots? And haven’t you seen football players celebrate after scoring a touchdown?
After Fernandez admired his shot, baseball traditionalists started talking about the violation of baseball’s unwritten rules [Can someone please write out these unwritten rules].
The TV announcers criticized Fernandez on air. And here is what South Florida talk show host Andy Slater had to say on Twitter:
And here’s what I have to say to Slater: get over it. You’re a talk show host covering a team that’s in last place in the division, 32 games behind the Braves. You haven’t seen many positives from the home team this season.
Let the kid celebrate.
Hearing these baseball purists preach reminds me of the incident earlier this week when managers Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles and Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees acted like a couple of 12 year olds and nearly came to blows after accusations of stealing signs.
Really? As if no one has ever stolen signs in the history of baseball.
Getting back to the Fernandez homer. The most incensed person on the field appears to be Johnson, the third baseman Chris Johnson, who charges toward home plate. When order finally appears to be restored, it’s Johnson who keeps acting like a mad man.
But watch tape carefully, and go to the 3:00 minute mark.
Is Johnson’s path to the plate really the one you take when you want a piece of someone?
Or is that the path of someone who wants to talk a lot of ‘ish, but doesn’t really want to scrap.
The night amounted to a lot of posturing about baseball’s unwritten rules, and a lot of posturing about really wanting a piece of someone.
In the end: seems to really be much ado about nothing.