Yesterday the Rockies played the Braves and beat them 10-3. This is great on its own because Go Rockies and fuck the Braves. In the bottom of the 8th, Corey Dickerson fouled off a pitch and accidentally struck catcher Gerald Laird on the side of his head on the follow through of his swing. On the very next pitch, Braves reliever David Carpenter beaned Dickerson in the thigh. Ejections occurred. With two outs in the top of the 9th, Rockies reliever Nick Masset then plunked Evan Gattis of the Braves. More ejections occurred, and Rockies players high-fived Masset in the dugout.
This whole thing is so fucking stupid, I can barely think about it without blood shooting out my nose, but let’s try to delve into why.
The only place to start is by pointing you to this, written by former player Dick Hayhurst, which is the greatest demolition of baseball’s dumbass unwritten code ever written. I encourage you to read the entire thing, but if for whatever reason you don’t, the basic premise is that the more you try to explain baseball’s unwritten rules, the less sense they all make, including, in this case, why the Rockies and Braves tagged each other with fastballs and how Masset earned high fives for his efforts.
Here’s the takeaway from Hayhurst:
“The best way to fix the system is to kill it. Baseball’s unwritten rules justify hypocrisy, stupidity, and injury. They are feud propellant. Ego lubricant. Complete and utter bullshit. And they’ve been around for so long now that no one even knows why they’re kept in service beyond the immature fear that the world would screech to halt without them. Well, three cheers for teaching our kids the importance of vigilantism. And God bless the first player to selfishly turn the other cheek.”
God bless this man. A guy struts and preens after a homerun? Teach him a lesson and give him a little chin music, right? What is this type of frontier justice were applied in other parts of society? Take this scenario Hayhurst posits: “By that logic, the next time someone cuts me off in traffic, I should send my car barreling into the offender’s because that’s the only way they’re going to learn.”
You don’t fire a fastball into his ear like a goddamn criminal, you stop hanging your fucking slider and strike that son of a bitch out next time. Talk shit to each other. Fuck with the other guy. Make it a game! Celebrate the game. And for fuck’s sake, learn how to lose with class. Show kids watching at home they don’t have to be grim, soulless robots who exact vengeance upon those who dare to disobey the arbiters of tradition, even though those arbiters don’t technically exist, and what “tradition” actually means is always changing.
Baseball is supposed to be fun, not a student disciplinary committee hearing to determine proper restitution for violating the honor code.
So the next time I hear someone bloviate about “disrespecting the game” or whatever, well… I’m certainly not going out of my way to laser a fastball into their temple. I’ll probably just shoot them the double bird like I did to both the Braves and Rockies yesterday.
Thanks to Mike for inspiring this post by sharing his thoughts about yesterday’s game on Facebook.