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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jenryy Mejia moonwalks off the mound after inning-ending strikeout

Mejia’s final pitch was an inning-ending called strike three to Brett Gardner, and he celebrated by moonwalking off the mound:

Pitchers strike out ~6 hitters/game, yet it’s OK to do a jig after one.  Carlos Gomez or Yasiel Puig are going to hit a HR about once every 5-6 games, but dare not show any emotion afterwards.

As yet, no one has explained why this is OK.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:35 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: unwritten rules

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   1. escabeche Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4705678)
The answer is obvious -- both are OK and cool. It's also OK and cool when players are totally stoic about victory on the field. Human beings have different personalities and baseball players are human beings.
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4705682)
As yet, no one has explained why this is OK.


It's all about the home runs.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4705683)
I tend to be a bit more prickly about "unwritten rule" type stuff than most around here but I didn't mind Mejia's little dance. It felt like genuine enthusiasm rather than a "look at me" kind of celebration.
   4. Rusty Priske Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4705684)
Yes. This. Exactly.

People gettign uptight about other people getting excited is ridiculous.

I remember Barry Bonds getting angry when som erookie pitcher struck him out and was all excited about it.

Are you kidding me? A rookie pitcher just struck out Barry Bonds... why wouldn't he be excited about it?
   5. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4705690)
I tend to be a bit more prickly about "unwritten rule" type stuff than most around here but I didn't mind Mejia's little dance. It felt like genuine enthusiasm rather than a "look at me" kind of celebration.


Why do Puig's celebrations 'feel' like a 'look at me celebrations' to you? What about Jose Fernandez?
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4705693)
Why do Puig's celebrations 'feel' like a 'look at me celebrations' to you? What about Jose Fernandez?


Um...I didn't mention either Puig or Fernandez. For what it's worth I like both guys.
   7. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4705701)
Um...I didn't mention either Puig or Fernandez. For what it's worth I like both guys.


Sorry, misread you. I assumed by leaving them out of your statement you were implying they were not celebrating correctly. My bad.
   8. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4705705)
And after all these years I thought I was just walking backwards.....
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4705706)
No prob. And the reality is sometimes guys I like celebrate in ways I don't like. David Ortiz is one of my favorite players ever but I could do without the 35 second home run trots and the loafing down the line on routine grounders.

Puig is one of my favorites but he does some things that drive me nuts (missing cutoff men especially). From what I've seen of Fernandez he is a ton of fun. The thing with Tulo last year was fantastic.
   10. Moeball Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4705711)
Mejia’s final pitch was an inning-ending called strike three to Brett Gardner, and he celebrated by moonwalking off the mound


No, he didn't. Moonwalk, that is.

Another fake lead...

...And yet I clicked.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4705712)
Are you kidding me? A rookie pitcher just struck out Barry Bonds... why wouldn't he be excited about it?
'
This.
People say "act like you've been there before". Well, what if you haven't?
   12. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4705715)
As yet, no one has explained why this is OK.


I think it's deemed ok for the batter to celebrate if it's a game winning walk off, not, not if it's a 6th inning solo shot in a blow out
   13. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4705722)
I think it's deemed ok for the batter to celebrate if it's a game winning walk off, not, not if it's a 6th inning solo shot in a blow out
That doesn't answer the question, as many strikeouts that are celebrated don't end a game (like this one) or even an inning.
No, he didn't. Moonwalk, that is.

Another fake lead...
It was the headline from the article.
   14. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4705726)
To be clear - it's not the celebrating I have an issue with; it's the double-standard where a pitcher is justified for plunking a hitter who "shows him up" while pitchers get a complete pass on any and all antics.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4705739)
To be clear - it's not the celebrating I have an issue with; it's the double-standard where a pitcher is justified for plunking a hitter who "shows him up" while pitchers get a complete pass on any and all antics.


I don't think those are entirely true. I imagine there are some Yankees who didn't like Mejia's little jig, just as there are plenty of players who don't care what kind of emotion a hitter displays (and don't agree that a pitcher is justified in plunking those who do).

And this may be one area where the fact many pitchers don't have to bat plays itself out. Some redass Yankee pitcher may be perfectly willing to give Mejia a buzz job today; but chances are extremely good he'll never get the chance. And while baseball convention allows a team to drill one of its foes' hitters if he drills one of its players, that same arrangement doesn't govern "showing up" behavior, where only the perpetrator is targeted.
   16. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4705760)
I don't think those are entirely true. I imagine there are some Yankees who didn't like Mejia's little jig, just as there are plenty of players who don't care what kind of emotion a hitter displays (and don't agree that a pitcher is justified in plunking those who do).
While some players may not like it, retaliation is neither expected nor condoned. Can you imagine the chaos if Montero, in his next AB, flung his bat at the pitcher?
And this may be one area where the fact many pitchers don't have to bat plays itself out. Some redass Yankee pitcher may be perfectly willing to give Mejia a buzz job today; but chances are extremely good he'll never get the chance.
Actually, even if pitchers generally did hit there would be no opportunities because Mejia is now a reliever, so he'd never bat anyway.
   17. Dale Sams Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4705766)
If only this generation could be good sports like back in the good old days when dugouts would shout racial epithets at the batters.
   18. formerly dp Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4705772)
Bummed that I wasn't watching for this, I really like Mejia. Before surgery, I remember early scouting reports describing him as someone who showed great poise for his age. The last few starts he'd been doing a lot of throwing-- didn't really seem like he had much of a plan out there. I don't know if that's just a function of him missing his spots early in the count, but that maturity that he was hailed for early in his career doesn't seem like it's developing. I would have liked to see him get a few more starts before they gave up on him in the rotation.

DeGrom's been called up. All of the sudden, the Vegas rotation's looking a little thin.
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4705773)
While some players may not like it, retaliation is neither expected nor condoned. Can you imagine the chaos if Montero, in his next AB, flung his bat at the pitcher?


First, retaliation of this sort is never expected or condoned, regardless the offense. It isn't just for "showing up" crimes, but throwing your bat at the pitcher is simply not acceptable in baseball. A plunking, to a lesser extent, is.

Second, if you fling your bat at the pitcher, you're obviously intentionally trying to harm him. The HBP happens enough without intent that the pitcher has some deniability.

Finally, plenty of guys celebrate their homers without getting thrown at. Hell, I'm not sure that Carlos Gomez has been thrown at for either of his most memorable incidents.

Actually, even if pitchers generally did hit there would be no opportunities because Mejia is now a reliever, so he'd never bat anyway.


I know. That's why I wrote what I wrote. It's probably not completely coincidental that relievers tend to be more demonstrative than starters.

   20. Obo Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4705774)
A little flamboyant, yes, but it looks to me like part of this is Mejia waiting for the call. He's off-balance after his follow-through and he ends up doing an excited little "come-on-come-on-come-on" quickstep while staring at the umpire. When he gets the punch-out motion he turns, punches the air briefly, and quickly runs off the field in a completely acceptable manner.
   21. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4705785)
Mejia has had a tough start to his season and was not happy about his bullpen demotion. I can see why he was happy to show he still had it.

As for exuberance, I personally think that the "act like you've been there" attitude is crazy. Sports are fun. You shouldn't go overboard like some football players do after a good but not great play, but enjoy yourself! Mejia was reacting in the moment to an important out to end an inning where there were runners (iirc) on first and third and a 2 run lead. If you can't scoot off the mound excited after that you should probably get your blood pressure checked.
   22. billyshears Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4705786)
I think Mejia should have been given a bit more rope as a starter. Just because a guy has a bit of trouble getting out of the fifth inning in his first seven starts of the year doesn't mean it will be a long term problem (and he was a bit better in this respect last year, if you exclude the last start when he was hurt). I understand the Mets have an excess of starters and a need for bullpen arms, but I think they would be better served by trying to cultivate as many starters as they can and trading them for bats rather than using them to fix the bullpen.
   23. Squash Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4705794)
A little flamboyant, yes, but it looks to me like part of this is Mejia waiting for the call. He's off-balance after his follow-through and he ends up doing an excited little "come-on-come-on-come-on" quickstep while staring at the umpire. When he gets the punch-out motion he turns, punches the air briefly, and quickly runs off the field in a completely acceptable manner.

Precisely. There's a big difference between a second-long stutter step that ends the second he gets the call and a Carlos Gomez/David Ortiz 35-second, stare at the ball/pitcher, home-run trot, and an obvious difference in the human empathy it generates. Gomez/Ortiz make it personal, which makes everyone crazy. Mejia did not.
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4705831)
Actually, even if pitchers generally did hit there would be no opportunities because Mejia is now a reliever, so he'd never bat anyway.


Unless it's the world series.

It's probably not completely coincidental that relievers tend to be more demonstrative than starters.

Relievers are probably a lot more excitable than starters due to the burst nature of their job. They need to get psyched for one inning, or even one batter. Starters need to be on a slow burn so they don't overthrow in the 1st inning.
   25. thetailor Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4705834)
To be clear, I'm in favor of everyone taking a chill pill and letting players celebrate a little.

With that said, those of you pretending like a home run is equivalent to an inning ending strikeout have either not played in a while or have just forgotten.

Yes, a home run is rarer than an inning-ending strikeout, and is also likely to be more valuable in the context of the game, so you can/should be more excited about it. However, after the K, the play is completely over. There is nothing left to be done.

On the other hand, with a HR, the ball is in play during the "celebration." Even if its a no-doubter, the other team needs to wait for you as long as you showboat. Even if it's a no-doubter, your first instinct should be to bust it out of the box because that should be what you do on every ball in play. Watching a HR has more of a direct, in your face impact, than celebrating after a K.

The equivalent pitcher celebration would be a celebration on a comebacker that he fields. The pitcher is going to complete the play 99.9% of the time, but dancing before throwing to first would be really insulting.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4705869)
The pitcher is going to complete the play 99.9% of the time,


Again, unless it's the world series. Ask Detroit fans how they felt about pitcher's making routine plays in 2006.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4705873)
On the other hand, with a HR, the ball is in play during the "celebration." Even if its a no-doubter, the other team needs to wait for you as long as you showboat. Even if it's a no-doubter, your first instinct should be to bust it out of the box because that should be what you do on every ball in play. Watching a HR has more of a direct, in your face impact, than celebrating after a K.


The extra time delay from a slow trot compared to a fast jog is less than 30 seconds. I think you are overstating the delay from the celebration just a tad.
   28. attaboy Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4705875)
Ah...this article and all of these comments miss the much more important, big picture!

METS WIN!!
   29. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4705896)
dancing before throwing to first would be really insulting awesome.
   30. Jeltzandini Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4705912)
Jenryy Mejia


Obvious Star Wars name.
   31. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4705933)
First, retaliation of this sort is never expected or condoned, regardless the offense. It isn't just for "showing up" crimes, but throwing your bat at the pitcher is simply not acceptable in baseball. A plunking, to a lesser extent, is.
My point is, why does a "disrespected" pitcher get to throw #### at a hitter, but a hitter has to just accept whatever, whether it's Mejia's moonwalk, Eckersley's "pistol shot", or Valverde's Broadway production (complete with flying monkeys)?
   32. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4705962)
My point is, why does a "disrespected" pitcher get to throw #### at a hitter, but a hitter has to just accept whatever, whether it's Mejia's moonwalk, Eckersley's "pistol shot", or Valverde's Broadway production (complete with flying monkeys)?


First, the instances of disrespected pitchers throwing at hitters are far less common than you're indicating. How many times have the guys you mentioned in your lede-in, Puig and Gomez, been thrown at for disrespecting pitchers? Pitchers sometimes bark at hitters for doing things they don't like. Batters sometimes bark at pitchers for similar acts. Baseball players of all types are remarkably good at umbrage-taking at relatively minor offenses.

Second, the reason that the few instances happen in one direction (and not the other) is because there's really no reasonable mechanism in the game for disrespected hitters to take out their anger at a pitcher, whereas put-upon pitchers can plant one in the ribs during the normal course of play. This is, quite simply, the major reason for any disparity you're seeing.

Third, if the umpire determines that the pitcher has indeed thrown at a batter intentionally, the pitcher is to be tossed out (and likely fined and suspended). So, he doesn't "get to throw" at him. That he sometimes does shouldn't be interpreted as acceptance of the practice.

There aren't many people who think that pitchers should be able to throw at hitters for getting excited following a home run. It happens on some occasions, and the various parties deal with it with varying responses. But there's nothing inherently inconsistent about the whole thing beyond the peculiar way the sport is played.

Looked at another way, if there was a way for the Paul O'Neills and Kevin Youkilissisises to take out their anger on a preening Jose Valverde or Brian Wilson, they would do so, even if it cost them a few games. The problem for that group of guys is there simply isn't.
   33. Urkel's Boner Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4706014)
There's a big difference between a second-long stutter step that ends the second he gets the call and a Carlos Gomez/David Ortiz 35-second, stare at the ball/pitcher, home-run trot, and an obvious difference in the human empathy it generates.


Just for the record, Gomez has 5 of the 10 fastest home run trots this season. His fastest is even quicker than the one in-the-park home run hit so far this year.

http://tatertrottracker.com/2014-tater-trots/2014-tater-trot-tracker-leaders.html
   34. JE (Jason) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4706023)
The equivalent pitcher celebration would be a celebration on a comebacker that he fields. The pitcher is going to complete the play 99.9% of the time, but dancing before throwing to first would be really insulting.

Virtually every talented heel in professional wrestling does this but it only appears to work at best 50% of the time.
   35. TDF, situational idiot Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4706041)
Second, the reason that the few instances happen in one direction (and not the other) is because there's really no reasonable mechanism in the game for disrespected hitters to take out their anger at a pitcher, whereas put-upon pitchers can plant one in the ribs during the normal course of play. This is, quite simply, the major reason for any disparity you're seeing.
Which is exactly my point. Why are pitchers given a "reasonable mechanism" when they feel slighted when hitters aren't? And why are pitchers allowed to act any way they want, while hitters are expected to follow all of these "unwritten rules"?
   36. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4706044)
I don't think those are entirely true. I imagine there are some Yankees who didn't like Mejia's little jig


But if Brian McCann had gotten in front of him and refused to let him leave the field because he was disrespecting the game, would MLB Network be lauding McCann as a hero right now?
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4706047)
Which is exactly my point. Why are pitchers given a "reasonable mechanism" when they feel slighted when hitters aren't?


They aren't given the mechanism, it (throwing a baseball near a batter) is the integral structure of the game itself.
   38. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 13, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4706056)
Which is exactly my point. Why are pitchers given a "reasonable mechanism" when they feel slighted when hitters aren't?


Because the rules of baseball require pitchers to throw baseballs in the general vicinity of hitters. That's how the game is played. Sometimes these pitches hit the batter. As a result of this fact of the game, throwing at hitters (whether to retaliate for a previous HBP or perhaps a hard slide at second or sign-stealing or simple disrespect) became a common practice.

It has nothing to do with allowing pitchers to get away with something that hitters can not, but simply an artifact of how the game is played.

If the way the sport was played somehow resulted in hitters frequently but inadvertently spiking pitchers in the course of a ballgame, then put-upon hitters would take the opportunity to dig a little metal in when some mound-dancing pitcher pissed him off.

And why are pitchers allowed to act any way they want, while hitters are expected to follow all of these "unwritten rules"?


They aren't.

Edit: Half a Coke to the Nasty one.
   39. Willie Mayspedester Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4706094)
dancing before throwing to first would be really insulting awesome.


It's happened before.
   40. formerly dp Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4706101)
I think Mejia should have been given a bit more rope as a starter. Just because a guy has a bit of trouble getting out of the fifth inning in his first seven starts of the year doesn't mean it will be a long term problem (and he was a bit better in this respect last year, if you exclude the last start when he was hurt).
Agree. According to Darling, when he started getting hit this year, it was due to working too much in the zone early in the count (batters were sitting on hittable pitches early). So d'Arnaud was apparently working with him on pitching out of the zone early in the count to try to get swings and misses. But that sort of change of approaches 1) is going to result in higher pitch counts, and 2) might take some getting used to. These are the sorts of growing pains you let talented young pitchers work through, and the reason you lean so heavily on mid-to-very late career guys like Colon, Gee, and Niese to last deep into games. The problem is that Wheeler and Mejia both need a lot of pitches to make it through innings, and that's been taxing a not-very-good bullpen.

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