Former Minnesota Twin Carlos Gomez, who has emerged as a star with the Milwaukee Brewers, is lucky that Ron Gardenhire isn’t his manager anymore.
Gomez thought he hit a homerun against the Pirates yesterday, so he flipped his bat and admired his work (another view is that he thought he was going to be out). But the ball didn’t go over the fence; it went off the fence and Gomez had to start running.
Gardy would’ve yanked Gomez off the field and buried him. It violates the code of the game.
Gomez is all about emotion when he plays baseball and Fox Sports suggests today that it’s a cultural thing that baseball might want to start encouraging that a little more.
If Gomez’s story sounds familiar, it should. Replace “Carlos Gomez” with “Yasiel Puig” or “Jose Fernandez,” and the basic theme holds true: A Latin American-born player has become a star in the major leagues, and he’s supposed to “tone down” his celebrations and remove the individuality from his game because “we don’t do that here.”
Well . . . why not? Because baseball’s playing, coaching, executive and media establishments don’t remember Joe DiMaggio pimping his home runs? Why do the old unwritten rules apply when there has been such profound change in the demographics of those playing — and watching — the game? Shouldn’t our national pastime mirror the evolving desires of the U.S. ticket-buying public in the social media age?
“If Gomez rockets a ball to center against a division rival and tosses his bat out of competitive joie de vivre, then, really, where is the harm in that?” the columnist writes.
Matt Snyder at CBS Sports argues essentially the same thing: that baseball is oversensitive.
I continue to be baffled by this mindset where it’s OK for baseball players to pout over how an opponent reacts. It happens all the time, so I’m not singling out Gerrit Cole, as he’s simply the latest example. In this specific case, why does he care how Gomez reacts in the batter’s box? And couldn’t it be argued that Gomez cost himself a chance at an inside-the-park homer by standing there admiring his shot? If someone argues that Gomez looked like a fool, shouldn’t Cole just let him look like a fool?
“I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today,” Gomez tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “This is my job; I’ve been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It’s not to disrespect nobody. So if they take it like that, they don’t like it, that’s fine and I’m fine with it. It’s not a big deal.”