I recently posted a blog that received a little bit of attention from Twins fans, where in part I described my own displeasure with some questionable play from our Division rivals to the North. Now, of course, I have my own view of what happened, and all others are equally entitled to theirs. Go figure that there might be a variance between the two sides, depending on whether you were on the giving, or the receiving end of the following events. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, I give you my own perspective on perhaps why these events transpired in the first place. Not really a true case for “causation”, but more of a “linkage” between past and (recently) present…Allow me to set this up for the viewers.
First, we have the Twins left fielder, Delmon Young. Having a wonderful break-out season to be sure, but on this particular evening, made a curious choice. Please notice the path he takes toward home plate…
Shocking? Certainly not. This is a part of baseball. An attempt to dislodge the ball from a waiting Catcher has always been an acceptable part of this game, and likely will remain, and be repeated numerous times in the future. For my money, I love a game played hard, and with passionate effort. Notice the picture I included of a perfectly acceptable, clean play. Own your actions, and I have no problem. But, in the video clip, did this player have other intentions? Hard for me to say, but this is certainly in question. Was he interested at all in scoring a run on this play? Sure didn’t look like it to me. Even the simplest of slides would have made for a very close play at the plate, and any attempt at an artful slide would surely have resulted in a safe call, given where AJP was standing with the ball. Delmon attempted neither kind of slide. He went “the long way around the barn” to initiate contact, and not just your normal forearm to where the glove (with ball inside) was located, but this was your garden-variety forearm shiver to the head, and not only the head, but the facemask. Wouldn’t a guy trying to knock the ball free from a catcher (again, a certainly acceptable brand of hard-nosed baseball) at least target where the ball was? This is how I viewed the play. Others have obviously viewed it differently, and one jack-ass continues to insist that I don’t know what I am talking about, and have much to learn about the basics of baseball, just becasue I didn’t see it his way. Who is right? Watch it again, then “Holla” back at me, and let me know your thoughts.
This next video gem, I submit just for some additional fun. And for someone who has a very definite opinion on what the motivation behind the last “incident” might have been…I thought it was relevant to today’s topic. I give you: Exhibit A, your honor. Mr. Young, in his finest hour, and as evidence of possible “probable cause”…or would this be, “precedent”? or maybe just plain stupid, ignorant and embarrassing?
Classy stuff, huh? Somebody took Delmon’s manhood away (maybe that’s how his pea-brain works) and he just had to act out? Something a 4-year old might do. Try to set aside the bias you have from he being a very popular, and productive member of your team (this season anyway) if you can, and look at it purely from a psychological/behavioral perspective. Still proud? Is THIS how real intellectual baseball fans understand how the way the game “should be played”? How proud are we, really. Yeah, I guess I am confused, and need some education on how real baseball fans see things, because if this is what is acceptable? Color me lost.
Do I really need to say much more? The only thing that creeps to mind, might be: Yeah, those Twins, they sure can pick ’em. They do everything “the right way” don’t they? Homegrown talent? No. Model citizen? Not exactly. Didn’t stop them from acquiring him via trade though did it? And people ‘boo’ AJ Pierzynski? He runs his mouth, wow, call a cop.
Now, let’s shift gears a bit, and take a look first at some recent history that may have contributed to another event that received a fair bit of attention and discussion from our collective fan bases…roll the clip…
Certainly, on the face of it, nothing really to get too excited about. One of many games played on a normal calendar day during the MLB season. And, really just 1 of 18 games played annually between Division rivals, right? I didn’t think too much about this drubbing given by our White Sox to those pesky Twins after this night, after all, it is a LONG season, and many more games still left to play, so no bigee. Now, let’s fast-forward ahead later in the season…
“Just a bit inside” and high, and head high for that matter. “Purpose pitch”? Thrown with purpose, absolutely. Purpose achieved? Usually when you have a pitch delivered from a pitcher, and it obviously “gets away from him” and hits a batter in a place that was not intended, you’ll clearly see that pitcher turn his head, or make some sort of (any sort of) unknowing gesture. The proof is usually in the body language, but absent of any, what is the normal observer supposed to think? If somebody out there can please send me video evidence that is contradictory to what I have seen, I would be grateful to see it, AND reform my opinion on the matter. I won’t be waiting by the old in-box though.
Check out Pavano again, in the few shots you can see him in. Does he even approach the home-plate area to at least give the appearance of concern (false or otherwise genuine?) Nope. Does Mauer even bend down as a gesture of concern? Not that I saw. You know what would have been a classy gesture? If Gardy had come out of the dugout as a show of concern for a fallen player. I am not saying that he had to come over to Ozzie and say anything, or even do anything that remotely resembled something that would communicate that this was an unintentional act. Maybe just a few steps as feigned concern for the safety of another human being? No? Even in Football, a sport much more known for its violence, and intense rivalry between teams, with years of bad-blood brewing between arch-enemies, you will still find a moment when an opposing man is down in a heap (and feared injured), often a player from the opposing team will come in and kneel down to offer comfort, and maybe add an obligatory pat on the back, or the touch to an arm or something…This case? Nothing. Oh well, to each his own…are we still on different pages as far as how things may be perceived from our fan perspective. Are we crying, or being too sensitive? Do we just “not understand” how real baseball fans think? Or maybe we see it through our own filter, is that possible? Try to place the shoe (or the forearm to the face, or the fastball to the nose) on the other foot to see how you might have swallowed that pill. Just sayin’. You might have had a few choice words on the topic had the roles been reversed.