In what should have been a light-hearted moment that got laughs from everyone involved, MLB and its umpires once again showed why people look down on baseball: Because they do all they can to take the fun out of it.
In case you missed it, in the 8th inning of last night’s Texas Rangers-Miami Marlins game, future-Hall-of-Famer and fast approaching 3,000 hits Adrian Beltre was “on-deck” waiting for his turn at bat.
I say “on-deck” because he was probably 10 feet from the actual on-deck circle, being closer to home plate to get a better idea of what the pitcher was throwing.
That’s when umpire Gerry Davis decided this 22-10 game (yes, that was the final score) was all about him and decided Beltre being closer to home plate, which every batter in the entire league does in every at-bat, was bad and told him to move back to the actual spot for the on-deck circle.
So Beltre did…by grabbing the circle and dragging it a few feet closer to where he had previously been taking his warm-up hacks.
Funny, charming, and in a blowout game, that probably should have been the end of it. Nope, not for Gerry Davis, who decided his honor had been insulted and decided to toss Beltre from the game for it. Here’s video (sorry if that doesn’t work because MLB pulled it):
And that about sums up baseball in the 21st Century.
A guy who is a ton of fun by all accounts on the field, tries to have a light-hearted moment near the end of a blowout game that everybody just wants to end…and an umpire comes along and decides there will be no happiness in my ballpark.
In a sport that is looking for ways to keep and attract younger viewers, and struggles to find ways to shorten games, Gerry Davis deciding to flex his umpire muscle did nothing to help either of those things. Seriously, it was a joke, and one that was actually pretty dang funny! And he got ejected for it like he had just taken a dump in Davis’ coffee.
And to be clear, it’s not just MLB that has this problem, in the NFL Beltre would have been flagged for 15-yards and then fined after because he didn’t represent the shield in a professional way. Barf.
And that’s the problem with baseball, and almost every pro sport today. It can try to shorten games, or do hip things to make players and games more interesting so more fans show up or stay at games longer…but when the people who run the actual games on the field are a bunch of 60-year-old fatasses who act like they’d rather be anywhere else, and like they aren’t being paid thousands of dollars to officiate a game, then nothing is going to change.
I’m still waiting for the day when an umpire ejects a player for a bat flip, because they think the player should show some humility.
It’s a game, and while players are trying to have some fun playing it with their bat flips and jokes like Beltre’s, the umpires act like it’s a blood sport and that everyone should act serious at all times on their field.
I hope Gerry Davis takes a liner to the pills in his next game.