I woke up pretty late this morning because I stayed up too long watching Smitty from Barstool play Fall Guys. It’s a PlayStation game that features a bunch of Goobers partaking in simple elimination challenges. After a few rounds, all but one of the Goobs is eliminated and a winner is crowned. It’s a battle royale experience with a lower barrier to entry than shooters like Fortnite and Call of Duty.
Anyway, Smitty still hasn’t claimed victory, but when I woke up I found out that Fernando Tatis Jr. had landed in hot water for hitting a grand slam in the eighth innings when the Padres were already up seven runs.
Apparently it’s an unwritten rule that you can’t swing at a 3-0 pitch when you’re up seven runs in the eighth inning. I’ve heard of a lot of unwritten rules, but this one was new to me. Sure, it’s a risky strategy to swing at a pitch that could get you out when you’re probably going to walk anyway. On the other hand, when you’re as talented as Tatis, swinging does a lot more damage than walking in that situation.
A bunch of old baseball guys like Rangers manager Chris Woodward and former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. got bent out of shape.
At least Woodward admitted that the times are changing.
Lots of fans on Twitter are saying “see this is what’s wrong with baseball,” but I think there are bigger issues like the fact that Tatis and Mike Trout play in the middle of the night for east coast fans and that they get way fewer chances to make a difference in the game than your standard basketball star.
That second point is just part of baseball, but MLB can do a better job getting its best players on national television at a decent hour.
Commissioner Rob Manfred should also not allow a young stud like Tatis to be intimidated by old unwritten rules, even if that’s only a small part of baseball’s modern issues. I think he should prepare a statement in support of Tatis and the other young players who want to play the game their way without worrying about getting thrown at if they accidentally hurt someone’s feelings.
Manfred should also suspend the pitcher who threw behind Manny Machado following Tatis’s grand slam. I usually don’t like pandering to star players but given the spot that baseball is in, the commissioner needs to make a strong statement that Tatis did nothing wrong.
So the Mets also played in Miami last night. I thought Luis Rojas was a dope for leaving Luis Gillorme out of the lineup, but Robinson Cano hit two home runs and doesn’t look like the worst investment in baseball right now. Pete Alonso also notched a pair of dingers while reaching base in all five of his plate appearance and the Mets won 11-4.
Go figure. The one season the Marlins look decent is the one in which the Mets finally figure them out. In reality, though, Miami’s lack of mature talent and their losses from COVID-19 were big signs that their early success couldn’t hold up. The Mets need to take advantage for the remainder of this four-game series in order to make up for last weekend’s Philadelphia debacle.