What’d you guys think of your boy Zito drilling Prince Fielder for his
earthquake celebration? It’s only spring training and we’re already
seeing fireworks?!? What’s your take?
Flush from yet another amazing Super Bowl game, the NFL recently took out its manhood, held it in both hands while staring proudly and then swiftly and viciously emasculated itself, leaving nothing but a bloody stump. You like touchdown celebrations? Well, let’s see how much you like them when it means giving the other team 15 yards on the kickoff.
Ostensibly, the owners made this decision to protect the game. After all, football is a team sport that involves no individual glory and this is why players are all paid the exact same amount. Oh, they aren’t? Uh, nevermind then.
My point is, the NFL could take a lesson from MLB and how it deals with this sort of issue. Guys like Prince Fielder are free to celebrate their heroics however they want. If that means running around the bases quickly with their head down, that’s fine. And if it means setting up a choreographed event at home plate with your teammates, that’s fine, too. But you’re going to have to face the consequences.
The consequences for Prince’s actions were a plunk in the back. Prince has adequate padding so I’m sure there will not be any long lasting effects. But it did let the Brewers know their actions hadn’t gone unnoticed. Sure, it’s sad that it had to come from close personal friend of RSBS, Barry Zito, but them’s the breaks.
That’s the thing. Baseball has rules against retaliation but unless it’s so blatant as to be unignorable, most umps are going to turn the other way. It’s part of the game and has been for a long time. In fact, this is probably one of those few areas where orthodox fans like Mr. Lung and reformed fans like myself can find grounds for agreement. Baseball is a game where things get settled on the field (unless you’re Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano) and the NFL could take a lesson.
Let a guy like TO or Ochocinco do a little dance and get down after making a spectacular catch. And then let them put 2 and 2 together when they get their teeth knocked out the next time they catch a ball. It won’t take long before the celebrations get tempered of their own accord.
That things like these go without saying is part of what makes baseball a great game. It’s not just about individual valor and team glory. It’s also the tradition and the melodrama. You think the Brewers will have forgotten that “pitch that got away” the next time they’re playing the Giants? And do you think the Giants will go easy on Fielder the next time he’s up to bat? No way, man. And that’s just one more reason to be watching those games.
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