Anyone who goes down to the ballpark early enough is bound to catch it. Nope, not a foul ball or an autograph. I’m writing about players from different teams slapping each other’s backs and joking around with one another. It’s a friendly reminder to fans that while competition on the field may be fierce, the athletes that perform for our amusement are in fact real people with real life relationships with others in their profession.
But according to ESPN’s Buster Olney:
If Joe Torre, baseball’s new czar of on-field discipline, has his way, then this kind of thing will be curtailed. Torre has asked club staff members to nudge their players toward curtailing that kind of fraternization after the gates have been opened to fans.
Mr. Torre would do well to realize that the majority of us are adults. We understand that the game we love is played by human beings. This isn’t professional wrestling where spectators require some sort of ridiculous story line to make the sport compelling. Baseball already pits a batter against a pitcher. We don’t need to suspend any beliefs to add to the tension of these conflicts.
Even children comprehend that friends can play on different teams. They likely put the idea into practice multiple times a day during recess.
As Olney further points out, Torre could have a very rough go implementing his seemingly ridiculous wishes.
Torre’s preference might be to curtail the fraternization, but the reality is that MLB can’t really make this happen without the cooperation of the players — and as MLB learned in its effort to get players to speed up their at-bats, some players will simply ignore the request.
And The Rest:
The newly called up Jose Iglesias will be having a homecoming of sorts when he returns to Toronto today.
Vernon Wells left last night’s Angels game and has since been put on the Disabled List with a strained right groin.
Grant Brisbee’s power rankings are the only ones worth reading.
Batting average for balls in play is falling through the basement this year in baseball.
Umpire Joe West isn’t just any moron. He’s an infectious moron.
Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver is auctioning off several pieces of memorabilia.
We can now add rat to the many names people call George Steinbrenner.
Jordan Bastian writes about how the Cleveland Indians might approach this year’s trade deadline.
Is Jeff Francoeur’s start for real?
Getting Blanked contributor Dave Gershman asks why Nationals Park doesn’t mention the Expos a whole lot.
Colin Wyers deconstructs fallen stars. And yes, that includes Derek Jeter.
HardBall Talk takes a look at how the first round picks from last year’s draft are doing after 30 games.
It’s do or die time for Ian Stewart in Colorado.
It wasn’t very considerate of Yuniesky Betancourt to steal the spotlight away from Zack Greinke during his debut in Milwaukee. Somehow, I’m sure that the Brewers’ ace will manage.