After looking back on the end of the MLB season and the playoffs, I was thinking about a common theme that came up; baseball’s code of ethics. Baseball has always had these unwritten rules that allow players to take control of the game. For example, throwing at players intentionally. A player would think, “if you throw at my guy, then I’m throwing at yours.” One can remember the Los Angeles Dodgers vs the Arizona Diamondbacks, that resulted in starting pitcher Zack Greinke getting beaned in the head (it also appeared to glance off his shoulder). That has been a common theme over the history of the game and will always remain in baseball. More recently, the code of ethics or “unwritten rules” have become more unclear.
Over the past month I’ve been more and more confused about what is right and wrong in baseball. I understand the concept of protecting your players if the umpires don’t step in. There are some other things I don’t understand. If you remember about a week ago, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez had clutch hits against the St. Louis Cardinals. After the game the Cardinals made it very public that they didn’t like the reactions of both players after their hits. Really? Just because a player gets excited and celebrates after a hit, now you and your teammates are offended?
Another example is when rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez hit a home run off the Atlanta Braves. Fernandez flipped his bat and watched his home run as it went over the left field fence. When Fernandez finished his lap around the bases, Braves catcher Brian McCann was waiting for him at home plate and confronted him. That lead to both benches clearing. Let the man enjoy his home run. Just because he is enjoying it does not mean that players have the right to be sore sports.
So where do baseball players draw the line? Cheating such as gambling, steroids/drug use, and using illegal substance are all things that are not approved of by players, coaches, fans and the MLB. After that is where it begins to gets a little blurry. Celebrating. In my opinion, a player can celebrate as much as he would like. If a player wants to do a bat flip after a home run, then that is fine. What Puig, Gonzalez and Fernandez did is fine. Teams are beginning to get too sensitive about celebrations. If a team wants the celebrations to stop, then there is a simple solution to that. Beat the team you are playing. That’s the idea of the game right? Play hard, give your all and the team that comes out on top is the deserved winner. Lets get back to the way things use to be. Get back at a team by beating them, instead of aiming at their heads and complaining.