Ahh…the old Jeff Nelson move: Fake-to-third, then throw up.
“Adam Wainwright acted like Hulk Hogan after he won Game 5 against the Pirates, so he shouldn’t be saying anything about Mickey Mouse stuff.” That’s what former All-Star reliever and 4-time World Series champion Jeff Nelson told me when I asked him what he thought about “the whole Puig thing.” Wainwright was referring to an incident with Adrian Gonzalez, not Yasiel Puig, which he claims had nothing to do with a celebration, but rather a comment from Gonzalez.
...“If Puig played when Pedro [Martinez], Randy Johnson and Roger [Clemens] were pitching, he’d have more bruises on his body than hits,” Nelson said from St. Louis where he’s covering the series for MLB.com. “Hitters are too comfortable at the plate. Pitchers don’t trust their control enough to pitch inside and knock a guy on his a—. Hitters from the ‘90s and early ‘00s would have a field day with these guys. [Barry] Bonds and [Ken Griffey] Junior would have hit 800 home runs.”
It seems simple. As a pitcher, if you don’t want a hitter celebrating on third base or flipping a bat at the plate, do whatever it takes to prevent him from doing so in the first place. It’s the postseason. It’s an emotional time. The Dodgers were playing at home and by that time in the game, the stadium was full. Was the bat flip a mistake? Yes, since the ball didn’t leave the park, but anyone being fired up after a triple to extend the lead in a must-win game in October? That’s ridiculous. The players’ behavior should be promoted just like pitching inside as a form of intimidation and strategy should be as well.
The unwritten rulebook also says to respect the game. Everyone has a different way of learning and showing respect, so here’s to hoping that all rookies learn how to show it in a hurry. Cardinals’ rookie right-hander Michael Wacha would earn respect from Nelson if he fired 96 in on Hanley Ramirez who’s playing with broken ribs. Nelson says, “that’s not dirty, that’s part of the game.”
That’s certainly part of football, but baseball? I’d even skip an episode of Scandal to watch that unfold.
Posted: October 20, 2013 at 07:29 PM | 23 comment(s)
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