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Sunday, October 21, 2018

MLB—Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig embrace their villain roles all the way to the World Series

They are no Snidely Whiplash.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:13 AM | 89 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, manny machado, yasiel puig

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5772041)
Puig isn't all that similar to Machado. The other thing that Machado did that isn't being brought up is he took a huge swing and hit Derek Norris, then the catcher for the A's solidly in the head. And he stood there smirking about it. Lots of guys hit the catcher these days with guys taking huge cuts and standing in the back of the batter's box. David Ortiz did it several times. But he would always seem to react apologetically. Oh jeez, sorry man. Are you okay? Machado just stood there snickering. Puig hasn't done any of the stuff Machado's done. He just reacts too emotionally for some people. I like Puig a lot.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5772043)
I'm kind of stuck on batters not preening at home plate in a Game 7 CS game when his hit clears the fence by about 4 inches. that is indefensible. (batters on both teams did it in this series, btw. and it's embarrassingly unprofessional as a signal of a player who cares more about himself and self-aggrandizement than doing whatever he can to maximize his team's chances of winning).

hustling, like class, never goes out of style.

in other news, GET OFF MY LAWN
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 21, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5772046)
I’m with Rough, Puig is fine, a bit arrogant and showy perhaps and if that’s not your bag fine. Machado injures and/or attempts to injure people.
   4. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5772054)
Milwaukee fans pretended to boo Machado. Wait 'til he gets to Boston.

Wait 'til he plays short for the Yankees.
   5. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5772055)
What Puig and Machado have in common is they're dark skinned furriners messin' up the white man's game.

Y'all take a Plaschke bath.
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 21, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5772063)
I can't stand Puig when he plays the Cubs, but I'll admit I enjoy the guy otherwise.

I don't have cable, so I watched the game at my mom's place. She doesn't follow baseball other than what I tell her, and even that doesn't usually stick with her (i.e. the "top" of the inning is the start of the inning). She was in the room chatting with me during a few innings, including the Puig homerun inning.

I'd explained to her the Machado situation and how it was interesting, because Puig (who she asked if his name was really "Pig" after seeing the back of his jersey the previous inning) has kind of been the "villain" for LA before Manny, mostly because he's expressive and that rubs people the wrong way. I said we'd see that if he did "something" while at-bat. A couple of pitches later he cranked it out of the park. My mom had me rewind it two or three times because she loved Puig's reaction so much. So YMMV, but I've found over the years from talking to people that Puig isn't as despised as he's portrayed.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5772066)
he's expressive and that rubs people the wrong way.

if he hustles a double into a triple, I have no problem with him being "expressive" - that's a great play.

the pushback, or even just passiveness, on acknowledging how stupid, clueless, and selfish it is for a player to stare at a well-hit ball in the batter's box when it either is not a HR, or barely is - well, it strikes me as odd.

now, some may even object to the "stare" when a guy hits one 500 feet - I don't, though.
   8. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5772067)
That HR last night -- yes, it cleared the wall by maybe a foot, but Cain's reaction told it all. Reminded me of Gano's FG a coupla weeks ago that would have been good from 70 yards.

This was Puig's age 27 season.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5772070)
I'm not fond of the way Machado engages in selective loafing, but he's still one of my favorite players. Wish he were still an Oriole.

Milwaukee fans pretended to boo Machado. Wait 'til he gets to Boston.

Yeah, that'll be fun. I hope he hits about .880 but that the rest of the Dodgers go hitless and Kershaw never makes it through the 4th inning. It's tough rooting for the Red Sox, but everything's relative, and other than Headhunter Kelly and #### Me In The Ass Kimbrel they've got more than their share of players it's impossible not to like.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5772072)
I can't stand Puig when he plays the Cubs, but I'll admit I enjoy the guy otherwise.

Totally laundry for me. I'd love him as a Yankee or an Oriole, neutral towards him with most other teams, and cantstanza him as a Dodger.
   11. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5772073)
Explain your Dodgers hatred.

Giants, Angels, Padres, and D'backs fans -- well understood.
   12. Red Voodooin Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5772095)
the pushback, or even just passiveness, on acknowledging how stupid, clueless, and selfish it is for a player to stare at a well-hit ball in the batter's box when it either is not a HR, or barely is - well, it strikes me as odd.


"Barely a HR" is a HR. It's fair to criticize the showboating, if it costs the team a base, etc, but it didn't and I thought his reaction was super cool and also appropriate; it was the biggest hit of the postseason by far.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5772097)
Explain your Dodgers hatred.

Giants, Angels, Padres, and D'backs fans -- well understood.


Walter O'Malley. Nuf sed.

But I'd admire their traditions if they hadn't punked out and put their names on their uniforms. Teams with class don't do that.
   14. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5772098)
Teams with class = no team with origins in Brooklyn

Classy = Class Enemy
   15. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5772100)
Machado is the guy who's admired more than a few doubles off the wall.

Not a big fan, but damned glad the Dodgers dealt for him.
   16. winnipegwhip Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5772106)
When it comes to a Boston vs. LA rivalry I endorse the Kevin McHale method of preventing scoring when Puig and Machado are about to tally for their team.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5772108)
Not a big fan, but damned glad the Dodgers dealt for him.

Actually the biggest problem I have with Manny is his seeming insistence of playing shortstop, which reduces his value considerably. If the Yankees were ever to go after him, I'd hope they'd insist he go back to his former 3rd base position.
   18. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 21, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5772120)
What Puig and Machado have in common is they're dark skinned furriners messin' up the white man's game.


Manny was born and raised in Florida
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5772122)

Manny was born and raised in Florida


still a furriner in today's Murica.

   20. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5772123)
I'm not really getting the vibe of either as a villain, but I get that writers and fans need to paint a picture... Kobe Bryant is a villain, Roethlisberger is a villain.... not really seeing the villain aspect for Machado, and definitely not seeing it for Puig.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5772124)
Actually the biggest problem I have with Manny is his seeming insistence of playing shortstop,


Yep, I know that the numbers equaled out when he went to LA, but still the eye test doesn't make me think he should be playing short except in a gap emergency.... it should not be his default position(of course that was the case with Jeter also, and the Yankees did alright with him there)
   22. perros Posted: October 21, 2018 at 06:48 PM (#5772143)
He can play short. The issue is devoting the time to learning the position as opposed to third, whwre is arm and athleticism was enough. The Dodgers started working with him to that end.
   23. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 21, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5772151)
I'm not really getting the vibe of either as a villain, but I get that writers and fans need to paint a picture... Kobe Bryant is a villain, Roethlisberger is a villain.... not really seeing the villain aspect for Machado, and definitely not seeing it for Puig.


I admittedly haven't seen a ton of Machado relative to what a superstar he's been in the league for a few seasons, but he certainly walked to the plate in Milwaukee like he was your classic arrogant wrestling bad guy.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5772157)
he certainly walked to the plate in Milwaukee like he was your classic arrogant wrestling bad guy.


It's Milwaukee, the home of arrogant wrestling superstars like ballplayers for the previous decade....
   25. flournoy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5772158)
How much time does Machado need to "learn the position?" He's 26 years old. He's played 3463 professional innings at shortstop between the minors and the majors. Presumably he played shortstop in high school and before that. At this point either he's learned the position or he never will.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5772161)
How much time does Machado need to "learn the position?" He's 26 years old. He's played 3463 professional innings at shortstop between the minors and the majors. Presumably he played shortstop in high school and before that. At this point either he's learned the position or he never will.


He's also been a third baseman for several years and needs to potentially re-learn the position(at least that is his argument) by rField he's been an average shortstop in the second half of the season.



   27. Batman Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:41 PM (#5772165)
I’m so tired of players like Yasiel Puig and Chris Truby worshipping Satan.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5772166)
He can play short. The issue is devoting the time to learning the position as opposed to third, whwre is arm and athleticism was enough. The Dodgers started working with him to that end.

But other than positioning there are only so many things Machado can "learn" about shortstop. His catlike reflexes serve him better at third, where his overall not-stellar foot speed isn't as much of an issue. His arm is a huge asset in both positions, as anyone can tell you who's seen him dive into foul territory for a grounder and still retire speedy runners. He did that so many times in Baltimore that you could almost forgive the fans for being a bit jaded about it. AFAIC he was Brooks Robinson with a better arm.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5772168)
the biggest problem I have with Manny is his seeming insistence of playing shortstop, which reduces his value considerably. If the Yankees were ever to go after him

oh, the irony
:)
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5772169)

I tend to agree with Howie about admiring a ball that may or may not clear the fence, but I recall that as soon as Puig realized it might not be a HR he started running all out. Not perfect but at least he didn't gaze at it until it cleared the wall like some guys do.

I have no problem with guys celebrating and being demonstrative on the field, but all the groin chops, which Puig also did on his HR, are pretty classless.
   31. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5772189)
I have no problem with guys celebrating and being demonstrative on the field, but all the groin chops, which Puig also did on his HR, are pretty classless.

Yes, what is up with all the groin chops? I believe Jesus Aguilar was doing them too during the NLCS. I know Triple H & Shawn Michaels from DX are back but I didn't expect to see their antics on the baseball field

I also thought I saw Machado grab his crotch at the crowd when he had the bunt hit in Gm 7.

The other thing that Machado did that isn't being brought up is he took a huge swing and hit Derek Norris, then the catcher for the A's solidly in the head. And he stood there smirking about it.

Actually from what I remember it was even worse. It was either the same game or series against Oakland where Machado threw the bat at Donaldson because he thought Donaldson tried to injure his knee with a tag. And the big swing that hit Norris, I felt was on purpose and Machado laughed about it

The MLB really pushes all the over the top celebrations. They even have the commercial with Griffey saying "let the kids play," that’s bat flips and celebrations galore. Some bat flips are fun but a lot are classless and make the player look stupid doing it. Many would be punishable by death by Bob Gibson & Don Drysdale. But the MLB Network loves them and maniacal walk off celebrations as well. It's almost like the teams are paid to celebrate as hard as they can. If I'm a player on a team 35 games back in August, I'm not itching to douse my teammates in Gatorade, chocolate syrup or whatever and rip their jerseys off. I'd just be like, great job guys- we won.

Now kindly escort yourself off my lawn.
   32. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5772190)
The MLB really pushes all the over the top celebrations. They even have the commercial with Griffey saying "let the kids play," that’s bat flips and celebrations galore. Some bat flips are fun but a lot are classless and make the player look stupid doing it. Many would be punishable by death by Bob Gibson & Don Drysdale

Cultural differences. Black friends and I loved it.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: October 21, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5772194)
well, there are two intermingled issues here.

one is about whether any major celebrating in mid-game is appropriate - I think that's the cultural one.

the other is about whether it makes sense to deliberately risk reducing your own team's.... well, win probability index for your own self-aggrandizement. those are not the same things.

even the 'crotch' stuff noted here is more in Category 1 - unless MLB cracked down on it with an in-game penalty, it doesn't impact your team's chances of winning.

Aguilar seemed to be reacting to Puig by imitating what he saw as clownish behavior.
   34. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:02 PM (#5772200)
Not all bat flips are created equal.
Jose Bautista flipping the bat after homering in a huge spot in a playoff game that had gone dramatically back and forth is totally justified in my mind.

Your team is up or down 7 runs in the 8th inning and you hit a solo shot? Just drop the damn bat and run.
   35. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:04 PM (#5772201)
I don't really remember Griffey being much of a showboating type from his era. Actually, a few of my Oakland A's players were known for it. Rickey popped his collar when he hit homers. Eck had his reactionary fist pump, point and staredown. Canseco loved being the center of attention too.
   36. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:07 PM (#5772202)
But also the bat flips and over the top walk off celebrations are so played out now that so many players are doing almost the exactly same thing. I'm waiting for someone to cartwheel down the first base line or do the Saturday Night Fever disco dance or even some version of Das Wunderkind Alex Wright's dance from WCW in the mid 90's
   37. DFA Posted: October 22, 2018 at 01:38 AM (#5772218)
Puig isn't all that similar to Machado.


Agree 100%. I'm not even sure why people hate on Puig so much. Does he make some boneheaded plays? Sure, but it seems like he's trying to do too much, unlike Manny. Machado is a terrific talent, but at times he is either loafing or playing dirty. I would speculate that he hasn't figured out how to manage his talents, but maybe he's just a douche. Who knows? However, trying to injure other players is embarrassing.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 22, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5772310)
I don't really remember Griffey being much of a showboating type from his era.
Duh, he wore his cap backwards. Backwards!!
   39. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 22, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5772326)
Duh, he wore his cap backwards. Backwards!!

Haha now I could be misremembering but I don't remember Griffey's backwards cap being all that big a deal but lately it's been brought up more and the MLB let the kids play ad mentions it in the background. My memories of Griff are him being hyped more than any young player before him. His rookie cards were the hot ticket and sold for big bucks. Then Griffey not only managed to live up to the hype but exceed it. What I also recall is adoration for his swing and the joy he played the game with.
   40. , Posted: October 22, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5772360)
the pushback, or even just passiveness, on acknowledging how stupid, clueless, and selfish it is for a player to stare at a well-hit ball in the batter's box when it either is not a HR, or barely is - well, it strikes me as odd.

My favorite part of that was how Puig himself went back and forth. At first, it was celebrating and admiring. Then, for a step, step and a half, you can see him think, "Is that gone?" and start to run. And then he decides, yeah, it's gone, and goes back to celebrating.

It didn't clear the fence by much but he absolutely smoked it.

   41. , Posted: October 22, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5772362)
Duh, he wore his cap backwards. Backwards!!

Haha now I could be misremembering but I don't remember Griffey's backwards cap being all that big a deal but lately it's been brought up more and the MLB let the kids play ad mentions it in the background. My memories of Griff are him being hyped more than any young player before him. His rookie cards were the hot ticket and sold for big bucks. Then Griffey not only managed to live up to the hype but exceed it. What I also recall is adoration for his swing and the joy he played the game with.


A lot of the old men hated him. Like today's old men, even those who were Jr. fans, hate the new kids. Cycle of life.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5772386)

A lot of the old men hated him. Like today's old men, even those who were Jr. fans, hate the new kids. Cycle of life.

I don't really remember the criticism of Griffey, but I was 9 years old when he came up so I would definitely remember the hype more than the hate. I guess they came around in the end since he went into the HOF on the first ballot with 99+% of the vote.
   43. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5772391)
I was a little bit older but I remember absolutely zero of the hate (if there was any for Jr). I remember the hype about being a son of a player that was still playing and the hype around being great but not the hate. If it existed it should be somewhere on the internet archived.

The hate about hats seemed to come about in the late 90's with players daring to wear baseball hats sideways and with the bill plank straight. I think Womack was a transgressor of this
   44. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5772407)
The SI vault doesn't offer anything but it is amusing to see how he was written about back in 1990 by SI. The article I read basically portrays him as a big natural kid who doesn't take the game seriously. Now granted the biggest knock on him when he was declining was that he wouldn't do the things necessary to stay elite. He didn't workout, he didn't really train, and he didn't stretch. SO I guess the writer was working with some solid evidence when he wrote the column in 1990.
   45. , Posted: October 22, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5772415)
To be fair, it could just be that I hung around a lot of grumpy old men at the time. I thought he was great.
   46. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5772427)
To be clear even Griffey says one of things he'll be remembered by is the backward hat. So people noticed it but as a kid I don't recall the backlash to it.
   47. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 22, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5772589)
I remember backlash to the backwards hat and I was a kid too. Everybody loved Griffey and he was the face of baseball back then. His big smile and excitement after making a big catch was great to watch.
   48. Traderdave Posted: October 22, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5772642)
I want more bat flips, more expression, more celebrating, more FUN.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5772659)
Haha now I could be misremembering but I don't remember Griffey's backwards cap being all that big a deal


It was a huge deal... You are definitely misremembering.

As others pointed out, he was still beloved, but the backwards cap was a thing that was mentioned fairly frequently in his first year or two in the bigs.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5772664)
I want more bat flips, more expression, more celebrating, more FUN.


Go watch South Korean baseball if you want bat flips....

(Actually I agree with you, enjoy the game... enjoy your moments when they happen...whether it's Joaquin Andujar striking out a batter, Willie Mays intentionally wearing a hat two size too small so it can fly off, to the Brewers having a group celebration at homeplate after a big homerun..... at the same time, posing after a homerun, that ends up not being a homerun, deserves all the ridicule that you will get.)
   51. phredbird Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5772681)

I want more bat flips, more expression, more celebrating, more FUN.


No. No. No. Just no.

Baseball is serious, it is life or death.

I want the dour, grim-faced, unforgiving baseball of the days when if you couldn't field your position, eight or nine guys with a five o'clock shadow and a scowl and sharpened spikes were ready to grab it from you right in the dugout.

I want the heavy flannel uniforms that actually dragged you down when the sweat of august ran squishily down into your black leather shoes, I want the high hard one when some muscle bound phenom even cracks a smile on the basepaths after taking food off your table by hacking a lucky swing at your best pitch.

I want dirty torn uniforms from sliding hard into second stretching out a scratch hit, or from rolling in the dirt with washed up soft tossers who think they can get away with chin music just because you want your part of the plate.

I want my guys to quit fraternizing with those bums on the other team, we're here to beat their brains out and take the brass ring.

I want to see socks instead of those stupid long pants.

I want to be twelve again.

But most of all, I want you to get off my lawn.
   52. Greg Pope Posted: October 22, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5772732)
It was a huge deal... You are definitely misremembering.

As others pointed out, he was still beloved, but the backwards cap was a thing that was mentioned fairly frequently in his first year or two in the bigs.


I'm pretty sure it was a big deal. Something that was always mentioned. Basically, "That Junior's a great ballplayer. But he really should show some respect and wear his hat the right way."
   53. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5772747)
For the record I could find no mention of Griffey's hat being backward being a bad thing in either the SI archives or the NYT
   54. Lars6788 Posted: October 22, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5772760)
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5772767)
the weird part of the article in post 54 is this:

"Showalter claimed his comments were off the record. But the writer, Charles Pierce, said the interview was tape-recorded and the quotes were read back to Showalter before the story appeared, according to the Boston Globe."

Pierce is a pretty big name, but it's odd that he would read the quotes back to Showalter - and odder still for The Globe to admit it. I mean, that's the point of a tape recorder (now known as voice recorder) in a 1-on-1 interview.

it's not unusual for an interview subject to either say, "well, off the record" - at which point, if you agree, then you make a point of turning off the recorder for a moment - or just point at the recorder. the reporter gets to choose if he turns it off or not. "quotes were read back to Showalter before the story appeared" - that completely mystifies me. that's just not how it works.

if it was not a 1-on-1 interview, then it depends on the scenario. I guess it's conceivable that Showalter might have a tacit understanding with beat guys about when he is just spitballing, and a 'foreign' reporter might not get it. but that's on Pierce to understand the dynamic. sometimes smaller-town reporters have gotten in the bad habit of letting everything slide - which is as bad as the "gotcha" of one mild line getting blown out of proportion (and both do happen).

still, something doesn't add up.
   56. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5772769)
Figures, I only looked through 1993.
   57. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 22, 2018 at 09:42 PM (#5772772)
Didn't Steinbrenner have an issue with Griffey's youthful "antics?"

Griffey is one of the main reasons I fell in love with baseball. Aside from collecting Starting Lineup figures, I was decisively agnostic about sports until the third grade when I got into basketball. It was a mixture of those Griffey TV spots and access to Cubs games that lured me into baseball. I fell in love with both in short order.

As a kinda dorky white kid in the Midwest, Ken Griffey Jr. defined cool, backwards hat and all.
   58. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 22, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5772773)
Duh, he wore his cap backwards. Backwards!!

Haha now I could be misremembering but I don't remember Griffey's backwards cap being all that big a deal but lately it's been brought up more and the MLB let the kids play ad mentions it in the background. My memories of Griff are him being hyped more than any young player before him. His rookie cards were the hot ticket and sold for big bucks. Then Griffey not only managed to live up to the hype but exceed it. What I also recall is adoration for his swing and the joy he played the game with.

A lot of the old men hated him. Like today's old men, even those who were Jr. fans, hate the new kids. Cycle of life.

Here's the guy who converted all those old men into Griffey fans.
   59. Srul Itza Posted: October 22, 2018 at 10:07 PM (#5772780)
other than Headhunter Kelly and #### Me In The Ass Kimbrel they've got more than their share of players it's impossible not to like.


I have absolutely no problem not liking any of them.

You just aren't trying.
   60. Srul Itza Posted: October 22, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5772782)
Explain your Dodgers hatred.



Tommy LaSorda
Steve Garvey
Fans leaving in the 7th inning

   61. Tuque Posted: October 23, 2018 at 02:34 AM (#5772839)
I'm a Dodgers (kinda) fan who has proudly left in the 7th inning! And I don't even live in LA! Though I guess I did at the time.

I offer myself up as a totem for your hatred. Please enjoy.

(Though I say "kinda" because at this point I kind of feel about the Dodgers the way Jeff Sullivan talks about feeling about the Mariners, i.e. that at this point my baseball fandom has become so abstracted that it's hard for me to root for anyone. Though, oddly, I still hate the Yankees?)
   62. JL72 Posted: October 23, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5772883)
it's not unusual for an interview subject to either say, "well, off the record" - at which point, if you agree, then you make a point of turning off the recorder for a moment - or just point at the recorder. the reporter gets to choose if he turns it off or not. "quotes were read back to Showalter before the story appeared" - that completely mystifies me. that's just not how it works.


Howie - are quotes ever read back if they are cleaned up? I recall hearing that some reporters will "clean up" grammar and the like to make the speaker sound better. So perhaps Showalter used improper English, Pierce cleaned it up and then read the cleaned up quotes back to him?

This is just a guess, but would love your thoughts.
   63. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5772931)
(Though I say "kinda" because at this point I kind of feel about the Dodgers the way Jeff Sullivan talks about feeling about the Mariners, i.e. that at this point my baseball fandom has become so abstracted that it's hard for me to root for anyone. Though, oddly, I still hate the Yankees?)


Do you think Sullivan is more attached to the Mariners (currently) than Lindbergh is to the Yankees? I think about this often.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5772935)
Though I say "kinda" because at this point I kind of feel about the Dodgers the way Jeff Sullivan talks about feeling about the Mariners, i.e. that at this point my baseball fandom has become so abstracted that it's hard for me to root for anyone.


I'm getting there with the Mets, although it's helpful when the team sucks so much. Who knows how I might rally around when they're good again. But at the moment it seems like bizarre and masochistic behavior to watch the team that I just happened to grow up rooting for when I could be watching another potentially more exciting or interesting game.
   65. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5772943)

I'm getting there with the Mets, although it's helpful when the team sucks so much. Who knows how I might rally around when they're good again. But at the moment it seems like bizarre and masochistic behavior to watch the team that I just happened to grow up rooting for when I could be watching another potentially more exciting or interesting game.


I stopped watching them in like June this year but when they are good I still get really excited about it. I just get more excited about watching good teams than I do about watching a team that is not going to contend. I did watch a few deGrom/Syndergaard starts at various points in the 2nd half.
   66. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5772952)

I stopped watching them in like June this year but when they are good I still get really excited about it. I just get more excited about watching good teams than I do about watching a team that is not going to contend. I did watch a few deGrom/Syndergaard starts at various points in the 2nd half.

The Mets had an abysmal patch in the middle of the season, after their opening win streak, where they went 10-18 in May and 5-21 (!) in June. After that, they were actually a pretty good and entertaining team (38-30 in the second half).
   67. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5772959)
The Mets had an abysmal patch in the middle of the season, after their opening win streak, where they went 10-18 in May and 5-21 (!) in June. After that, they were actually a pretty good and entertaining team (38-30 in the second half).


Yeah I saw that! I'm hopeful that next year we don't get the terrible first halves from Conforto and Rosario.
   68. JL72 Posted: October 23, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5772970)
I stopped watching them in like June this year but when they are good I still get really excited about it. I just get more excited about watching good teams than I do about watching a team that is not going to contend. I did watch a few deGrom/Syndergaard starts at various points in the 2nd half.


This is the way I am generally with the Tigers. One notable exception was the Tiger teams of the early 90s. Not really that great, but it was fun watching them take the TTO to the extreme (at that time).
   69. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5773009)
Humility is always more entertaining than self-absorbed preening. Practically speaking, running hard out of the box has the chance to reward you with an extra base while standing there does not. There's plenty of this around the game, but Puig is definitely a serial offender. I'm not a fan.

I'm also not a fan of Machado's antics. I've said it here before, but baseball doesn't need villains. It needs two skilled teams playing as hard as they can while respecting their opponents. The entertainment is inherent in the game.

Although I wouldn't mind a pitch clock...
   70. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5773019)
Humility is always more entertaining than self-absorbed preening.


I think this is manifestly untrue. I appreciate a modest Barry Sanders type as much as anyone else, but if you look at the big stars in sports history there are a great many loudmouths. Was Muhammad Ali less entertaining for his bluster? Should Babe Ruth have not called his shot? Should Usain Bolt knock off that whole archery celebration thing he does?
   71. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5773052)
Was Muhammad Ali less entertaining for his bluster? Should Babe Ruth have not called his shot? Should Usain Bolt knock off that whole archery celebration thing he does?


Yes, yes, and yes. All of those athletes are remarkable for their athletic achievements. I wasn't around for Ali or Babe Ruth, but who cares if they could talk a big game or were full of hubris? Ali was an incredible boxer, that's enough for me. Babe Ruth hit many homeruns. The one where he called his shot was impressive because he hit the ball a long way, not because he pointed. Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. I can do an archery celebration. I can't run a 100 in under ten seconds.

High level athletes and athletic achievements are fun because we get to see amazing people do things that very few, if any, other people can do. There is drama inherent in the event. We don't know who will win or what effect a given athlete or play will have on the outcome of the game. I'm all for players enjoying themselves, but doing it demonstrably at best increases my enjoyment of the game not at all. And at worst it detracts by resulting in a player giving less effort than he could have or by showing up an opponent and causing an avoidable fracas.

I legitimately enjoy humility. I'm an Angels fan, so this list is mostly Angels, but my favorite players throughout the years are the understated, workmanlike guys - Garret Anderson, Darin Erstad, Howie Kendrick, David Eckstein, Tim Salmon. Outside the Angels, I always loved watching Ichiro play. Tony Gwynn was one of my favorites growing up. I like seeing players celebrate with their teammates but I don't enjoy prideful displays of self-aggrandizement.
   72. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5773056)
Humility is always more entertaining than self-absorbed preening.

I think this is manifestly untrue. I appreciate a modest Barry Sanders type as much as anyone else, but if you look at the big stars in sports history there are a great many loudmouths. Was Muhammad Ali less entertaining for his bluster? Should Babe Ruth have not called his shot? Should Usain Bolt knock off that whole archery celebration thing he does?

If you're Muhammad Ali or Babe Ruth or Usain Bolt, you can be as braggadocio as you want. As Dizzy Dean once said, "If you can do it, it ain't braggin'."

And if you've just hit a late inning home run to put your team ahead, bat flip all you want.

But if you start preening because you've hit a home run that brings your team from a 10-0 deficit to a 10-1 deficit, you might want to consider some other options.
   73. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5773088)
And if you've just hit a late inning home run to put your team ahead, bat flip all you want.


Why, though? Put your head down and run until you know it's a homerun and then jog around the bases. Then high-five/fist bump your teammates joyfully in the dugout. Why bat flip at all? It just calls attention to yourself.

I know I'm on the minority side of this, and I'm not going to sway anyone to my side. I don't hate fun - I love sports and find them incredibly fun. They're a huge part of my life. However, I find humility to be a valuable trait that everyone should strive toward. My father raised me (and coached me) to be humble and respectful in everything I do, particularly on the playing field, and I've found that it's been rewarding when I can succeed in portraying that attitude. I love seeing it from others, too. In a moment where a guy has every right to thump his chest at his own achievement, it's refreshing to see someone eschew commandeering the spotlight and save their joy for a team celebration.
   74. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5773103)
But if you start preening because you've hit a home run that brings your team from a 10-0 deficit to a 10-1 deficit, you might want to consider some other options.


Does anyone actually do this? I don't watch a ton of games, so maybe I miss it, but are their any examples out there? I know this is a thing in the NFL and the NBA to a bit of a lesser degree.
   75. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5773105)
What I hate about the whole thing is the either/or nature of it. There are bat flips I enjoy, there are bat flips I don't. For example, Bautista's bat flip a few years ago, while understandable, wasn't fun for me. It seemed angry, not joyous but I saw Bautista do plenty of bat flips that were great fun. Puig seems happy when he does his.

It seems to me that the people who love bat flips regardless of the circumstances are every bit as annoying as the "in my day" crowd.
   76. Hysterical & Useless Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5773116)
Darin Erstad,


Ugh. Committed one of the dirtiest plays I ever saw. Don't recall whether he did it with humility.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5773119)
I know I'm on the minority side of this, and I'm not going to sway anyone to my side. I don't hate fun - I love sports and find them incredibly fun. They're a huge part of my life. However, I find humility to be a valuable trait that everyone should strive toward. My father raised me (and coached me) to be humble and respectful in everything I do, particularly on the playing field, and I've found that it's been rewarding when I can succeed in portraying that attitude. I love seeing it from others, too. In a moment where a guy has every right to thump his chest at his own achievement, it's refreshing to see someone eschew commandeering the spotlight and save their joy for a team celebration.


Because it can be a very fun thing? And why can't you have both? Mookie screaming into the dugoutafter a GS on the 13th pitch of the at bat was awesome! I love the very apparent joy and emotion I see from him when he plays, and after the game, has anyone ever called him out for being a dick?
   78. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5773135)
Because it can be a very fun thing? And why can't you have both? Mookie screaming into the dugoutafter a GS on the 13th pitch of the at bat was awesome! I love the very apparent joy and emotion I see from him when he plays, and after the game, has anyone ever called him out for being a dick?


Meh. I don't find it increased my enjoyment of the play at all. The grand slam was fine, I guess, if you like the Red Sox. Certainly a dramatic moment. Screaming into the dugout doesn't have anything to do with hitting a baseball really hard with three men on base. At least it was his own dugout.
   79. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5773138)
Ugh. Committed one of the dirtiest plays I ever saw. Don't recall whether he did it with humility.


Are you talking about the collision at the plate with the Braves catcher? Erstad played hard, but I don't think he had a reputation for dirty plays. That didn't strike me as any different from any other collision at the plate, which was something a lot of players did before they changed the rule. If you're talking about a different play, I don't recall it.

If you have a problem with ALL collisions at the plate, that's fine, but Erstad didn't do anything that deserves to be singled out for that particular one, in my opinion.
   80. Howie Menckel Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5773148)
are quotes ever read back if they are cleaned up? I recall hearing that some reporters will "clean up" grammar and the like to make the speaker sound better. So perhaps Showalter used improper English, Pierce cleaned it up and then read the cleaned up quotes back to him?


that answer is a bit complicated. if someone is running for office, say, then likely you just print their words verbatim - and if the public wants to render judgment on the candidate based on that, well, that's their call.

if a ESL athlete or one from an impoverished background fumbles a bit with a word, that's trickier. some of it is "what is the point of what I do or don't do" - you don't design to make the athlete look bad, nor to distract the reader. one compromise is a paraphrase, so the athlete is quoted on a word like "determined" or "frustrated" but not in an entire sentence that goes mildly awry.

I can't see how William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter III needs help on garbled syntax.
   81. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5773158)
I can do an archery celebration. I can't run a 100 in under ten seconds.
What are, Things You Have in Common with Fernando Rodney?
   82. JL72 Posted: October 23, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5773199)
I can't see how William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter III needs help on garbled syntax.


Thanks. I would not think Showalter would need it either, but I know I have had to stop in mid-sentence and start over because my tongue and brain where not communicating. Just trying to see how, if at all, this could have played out as reported.

I appreciate the background.
   83. Hysterical & Useless Posted: October 23, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5773293)
Are you talking about the collision at the plate with the Braves catcher


I don't recall the opposing team. The play I'm thinking of, the catcher was in front of the plate (as in, between the pitcher's mound and home, nowhere near the baseline) waiting for a throw that never arrived. Erstad went into him with a football block, then had to go back and tag the plate (as in, he hadn't even come close to looking like he was thinking about maybe considering waving at it as he flew by 3 feet off the ground). The catcher was in no way blocking the plate and was totally unprepared for the collision.

As I was writing this, I decided it was in fact the dirtiest play I've ever seen on a baseball diamond.

Of course, I've probably told myself this story so many times that I'm now seeing in my memory something completely different from what actually happened. Never trust an eyewitness!
   84. JAHV Posted: October 23, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5773335)
I don't recall the opposing team. The play I'm thinking of, the catcher was in front of the plate (as in, between the pitcher's mound and home, nowhere near the baseline) waiting for a throw that never arrived. Erstad went into him with a football block, then had to go back and tag the plate (as in, he hadn't even come close to looking like he was thinking about maybe considering waving at it as he flew by 3 feet off the ground). The catcher was in no way blocking the plate and was totally unprepared for the collision.

As I was writing this, I decided it was in fact the dirtiest play I've ever seen on a baseball diamond.

Of course, I've probably told myself this story so many times that I'm now seeing in my memory something completely different from what actually happened. Never trust an eyewitness!


A non-exhaustive search didn't turn up any video, but an article on the collision notes that Estrada did have the ball. It does seem that sliding around him would have made Erstad safe, but his quotes in the article seem genuine - he saw the plate behind the catcher, he knew the throw was coming, and he made the decision. Erstad was a football player (yes, he was a punter, but he was one known for getting involved in the play and actually making tackles after he kicked the ball), and I think his instinct kicked in. Brian Jordan thought it was dirty, Bobby Cox didn't.

If you think anyone who decided to collide with the catcher (prior to that act being outlawed) is dirty, then I can accept that. I think banning collisions at the plate was a good move because they were dangerous. But at the time, this was just a harder than normal collision by a guy with a football background. Erstad was known to play hard, but not dirty. That collision is far less dirty than Machado dragging his foot purposefully across someone's leg. There's no reason to do that other than to hurt someone. Erstad's collision, while certainly more dangerous, was allowed by the rules and was initiated to score a run.

All of this with the caveat that I'm an Angels fan.
   85. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5773342)
a guy with a football background.


I thought he was a punter
   86. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5773353)
Brian Jordan thought it was dirty ... But at the time, this was just a harder than normal collision by a guy with a football background.
I think I'm gonna take the NFL safety's view of it over the college punter's.
   87. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 23, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5773355)

I don't know, supposedly Erstad went in with a forearm to Estrada's face (and the still photos I found support that, although I couldn't find a video), giving him a concussion.
   88. cardsfanboy Posted: October 23, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5773360)
Didn't Steinbrenner have an issue with Griffey's youthful "antics?"


I think it was the other way around. Griffey as a teenager, when his dad played for them, was ordered off the field by the Yankees, and Jr claimed that he would never play for the Yankees because of that.
   89. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5773442)
But if you start preening because you've hit a home run that brings your team from a 10-0 deficit to a 10-1 deficit, you might want to consider some other options.

Does anyone actually do this? I don't watch a ton of games, so maybe I miss it, but are their any examples out there? I know this is a thing in the NFL and the NBA to a bit of a lesser degree.


Actually I think you're probably right on all counts. I was thinking of garbage time NFL TD celebrations when I wrote that, and I can't really think of any comparable examples in baseball.

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