“Respect the game”. Has a more ridiculous sentence ever been uttered? Consider the beginning and end of said sentence. “Respect”, followed by the word “game”. “Game” as in play. “Game” as in entertainment. “Game” as in not that fucking serious. 

Baseball is about as bad as it gets when it comes to this matter. Fun is just not allowed. Perhaps the most interesting part of this is that, unlike other sports, the MLB’s governing body does not get involved. Unlike the NBA, where you can receive technicals for certain celebrations, or football (NFL and NCAA) where flags will fly for any damn reason, baseball’s umpires do not get involved in the shenanigans. It’s the players themselves that take umbrage in the matter. Seriously, the players; the very same guys out there partaking in the pass time of children. 

 

Simple rule to live by: don’t apply your own sensibilities to others. Especially when dealing with self-expression in a game, what in the world allows one person to decide over another how to react within the rules of competition? Unfortunately, the voice of the no-fun police usually comes from a white source. The same guys who grew up being taught to suppress their joyful demeanor by older and mustier white guys. It’s usually some asshole named Brian McCann or a racist named Madison Bumgarner – yeah, I said it; I’m reckless like that – who are, apparently, such sore losers that they will not have someone showing happiness for playing well. Clearly, this warrants a harder-than-rock sphere to be thrown at somebody’s brain at 95 mph. That’s the real way to respect the game, physically assault its players with homicide attempts.

*Side note: We’re talking about the same Bumgarner who “respects the game” so much that he went and busted his ass riding dirt bikes and almost single-handedly ruined the San Francisco Giants’ season. God, I fucking hate that guy.*

So, just for clarification, let’s go over this. In a sport where the pitcher has the advantage, you, the batter, will either strike out or make bad contact most of the time. If you happen to make good contact, there are seven guys behind the pitcher waiting to make a play. However, on the off chance those special opportunities come around and you, the batter, get lucky enough to get ahold of one, don’t you fucking dare express any indication that you’re happy about it or proud of what you did. You put your head down and you jog around those bases like a quiet, good boy.

Surprisingly, the latest culprit in the let’s-make-baseball-more-boring campaign was a Hispanic player. Wilmer Flores of the New York Mets seemed to have some issues with the way Yasiel Puig runs the bases when he hits a bomb off his pitcher’s shitty execution. To be fair, Flores is not the first guy to react negatively the Los Angeles Dodgers’ right-fielder. His flair has rubbed some the wrong way and I couldn’t love it more. In fact, I have some suggestions…

*Baseball has certain limitations because the players have to complete their 240ft run around the bases, but that also offers some possibilities.

Things I want Puig to do: 

  • Don’t just pimp the trot, pimp the pimped trot.
  • Rip his jersey off soccer-style as he rounds the bases. I’m talking buttons flying and hitting infielders in the eyes. He’s going to finish up in the dugout anyway, he can get a fresh jersey then.
  • Love the bat flips, it’s a classic. But consider holding on to the bat and riding that shit like a horsey while periodically slapping your ass on your victory lap. 
  • Consider advertisement opportunities. The proper showcase around the bases can make all the difference in sponsorships. Get some tear-away pants, work that runway, and Fruit of the Loom will be calling the dugout phone sooner than you think. 
  • Fuck it, go all out, balls out. Whip those puppies out and make sure to tea-bag every bag on your way home.

Honestly, if people get to use fun players like Puig or the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista as target practice for simply showing cheer in their own particular way, then those same players should get to react to the opposition for being so damn boring. Fair is fair, let Bautista use his bat as a lightsaber and pay the Texas Rangers’ Sam Dyson a visit on the mound. Just give both teams a warning afterward.

 

The Lemon Drop is a weekly segment entertaining whatever the hell comes to the mind of Enrique Sierra, Jr. (Hipster Rick). Simply a sports lover who wants to see entertainment without so many damn qualifiers. Please click back next week for more and feel free to comment or engage us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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SoccerShape
Enrique Sierra
Enrique Sierra, Jr. is a writer, editor, and podcast co-host for Lemon City Live. A Miami, Florida sports fanatic just trying to live the dream.
http://www.lemoncitylive.com

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