Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4 comments Terence Moore Hates Celebrations, Rituals and Small Children Because They Always Look so Smug

Terence Moore, the same guy who thinks umpires do an excellently above average job correctly calling close plays, hates baseball rituals. He thinks baseball rituals are not creative enough anymore and they are becoming copycat. The issue is that celebrations are just that, celebrations, not original works of expression intended to be creative and new. Something exciting happens and people will start celebrating this happening. The originality of the celebration isn't really thought of in the moment. Terence sounds like a depressed teenager. Everything is ripped off and nothing means anything anymore.

Here's just one example why a slew of baseball rituals deserve more yawns than applauds. As soon as Oakland Athletics rookie Derek Norris reached home plate last weekend after his walk-off blast against the San Francisco Giants, he (all together now) flipped off his helmet, and then he (uh-huh) jumped on the plate with (you've guessed it) nearly everybody in Alameda County surrounding him.

Derek Norris is a rookie and hit a game-winning home run. Maybe the celebration isn't original, but it is deserved. There is a video of the home run accompanying this article and you clearly see only his teammates surrounding him. Hyperbole and exaggerating is so played-out.

That "thing" has gotten old, and so have a bunch of other things that suddenly have become baseball rituals.

Like "running the bases" and "not using chewing tobacco."

Or shall I say ripped-off baseball rituals.

Everything is ripped off in some fashion or another. What does it matter? Does every celebration have to be original? Besides, if something is a "ritual" then doesn't that mean it is repeated in the same manner every time?

(Looks up the definition of "ritual" and it turns out it is an established procedure for doing something)

That said, even though I am a traditionalist, who still cringes at the thought of baseball without sunshine at Wrigley Field,

I roll my eyes at the thought of Terence Moore cringing at the thought of baseball without sunshine at Wrigley Field.

I'm perturbed by players, fans and teams in general who take somebody else's thing and pretend it is their thing to the point of making the original thing irrelevant.

Yeah, I know! Complaining about things that don't matter, such as this, are so played-out and irrelevant. I'm sure another writer has complained about baseball rituals in the past, so Terence Moore is just taking that original complaining and pretending it his own complaining. How dare he does this? Actually, I'm sure my complaining about Terence Moore complaining about baseball rituals is probably copycatting someone else complaining about another sportswriter complaining about baseball rituals...which leads me to the conclusion the success of Maroon 5 in the mainstream does indeed mean that life has no meaning or value.

The bottom line is, only folks who invented a particular thing in baseball should have the right to do it. Otherwise it should go the way of flannel uniforms.

Most of the people who "invent" these rituals are either retired or dead, so suggesting the ritual should die/retire with this person seems a bit extreme.

Like The Silent Thing.

A guy hits a home run, rounds the bases and returns to the dugout to find his teammates, coaches and manager acting as if they are preparing for a funeral. After a while, everybody celebrates, with all of this supposedly coming as a surprise to the home-run guy.

The Silent Treatment isn't intended to be creative or earth-shatteringly original in any way. It's intended to needle the person hitting the home run by acting as if they don't care. It's funny, and even if you don't like it, teams aren't giving the Silent Treatment that often.

It happened after Nick Punto slammed a shot into the second deck of Rogers Centre in Toronto for the Boston Red Sox.

It's Nick Punto. He hit a home run into the second deck of Rogers Centre. Nick Punto isn't supposed to do this. So they gave him the Silent Treatment. Big deal.

It also happened after Atlanta Braves rookie Andrelton Simmons ripped the first home run of his career, and I'll expound on this one.

When Simmons returned to the Braves dugout, all of his teammates ignored him. They didn't even look in his direction despite his homer pushing the Braves closer to victory. Then, out of nowhere, they all leaped from their seats, formed the widest of smiles and rushed to congratulate the star of the moment.

The horror! So they were quiet at first and then went crazy to congratulate him? Why wasn't the team punished for these actions? Perhaps beheaded or forced to hear Jason Whitlock's full opinion of this fantastic and earth-shattering column he has just written? He puts everyone in a vacant you know!

Simmons told reporters afterward, "I saw the guys sitting down. I've got a good read on them. I knew what they were doing."

See what I'm saying?

No. Not at all. The Silent Treatment isn't supposed to be creative and original. It is a way to tease a player who hit a home run. Of course the player who hit the home run is going to know what his teammates are up to. The idea every single player in the dugout missed the home run or doesn't care to celebrate the home run is ridiculous. So the player who hit the home run and is on his way back to the dugout usually knows what's going on. The celebration doesn't have to be completely original to be fun.

The first time The Silent Thing was done, great. Funny. Clever. But now? Who cares?

So who was the first team to do the Silent Treatment? This is important information, since after all this team is the only team in MLB history who has Terence Moore's permission to do this celebration. Who knows who the first team to do this was...

Terence Moore doesn't tell us what team was the first to do this, which gives me the impression he doesn't know.

In no particular order, let's return to that "throwing back of the home run" thing that should only be a Chicago Cubs thing.

I mean, the Cubs haven't much of anything else to cherish, so why take even that away from them?

You shouldn't.

Well, I won't then. Glad we have this settled.

You should remember that, along the way to the Cubs' infamous collapse of 1969, the Bleacher Bums became particularly vibrant. As a result, they began an oddity by throwing back home run balls that were slammed into their midst by sluggers from the opposing teams. Just like that, a Wrigley Field tradition was born.

So thereby no other teams should ever be able to throw a home run ball back on the field?

It was only a Wrigley Field tradition for years -- and even for decades -- and then it wasn't. It was everywhere,

Then all of a sudden every fan base was throwing baseballs back on the field and absolute madness descended upon the game of baseball until the Cubs were forced to field a terrible team again in an effort to make the act of throwing the plethora of home runs balls hit by the opponent back onto the field their own ritual again.

Unlike the Cubs' tradition with home-run balls, the genesis of The Shaving Cream Pie Thing is more difficult to determine.

But that's not going to stop Terence Moore from complaining the original team who did the Shaving Cream Pie Thing, whichever team that may be, should be the only team who can take part in this ritual.

But it was at least prominent during the early 1990s in Philadelphia, where reliever Mitch Williams loved smashing shaving cream pies into the faces of his fellow Phillies during interviews.

And we all know any baseball tradition started by Mitch Williams must forever stay pure and untainted by the disgusting imitators who will sully the good name associated with Mitch Williams.

The Rally Cap Thing belonged solely to the 1985 New York Mets (if you don't include its cameo appearances with the Texas Rangers during the late 1970s).

So, the Rangers pretty much invented the rally cap and the 1985 Mets had no business ever doing it? That's how I'm reading this. What the hell is the "cameo" of a tradition? The Rangers either started it in the 70's, so the '85 Mets were ripping them off, or the Rangers didn't start the tradition. I would think this distinction is important to Terence Moore since he is such a hardass about baseball rituals.

To promote rallies, Mets players turned their caps inside out or put them on backward, and they continued the practice through 1986 along the way to a World Series championship.

Doesn't this mean the 1986 Mets copied the 1985 Mets by turning their hats backwards? HOW IN THE HELL IS THIS ACCEPTABLE HUMAN BEHAVIOR?

If that wasn't enough, baseball went from The Rally Cap to the Rally Monkey, which actually was an ingenious idea. In 2002, the Angels started playing a video of a jumping monkey on their video screen at home games to inspire players and fans. It helped propel the team to a World Series title.

Nine years after that, the St. Louis Cardinals countered with their Rally Squirrel.

The Cardinals had a Rally Squirrel because an actual squirrel came on the field during a playoff game. The Angels didn't have a monkey randomly enter the field of play during a playoff game, though I would love to see that happen, so I don't see the Cardinals as ripping off the Angels.

Still, given the ties of St. Louis and the Cardinals to Clydesdales and a certain brewery, the Cardinals do play that Budweiser jingle during every home game.

Nobody else can do that with a straight face.

And no one else would want to do that because that is a ritual specific to the city of St. Louis. Other teams have city-specific rituals too.

Braves fans do the Tomahawk Chop because they are a racist, inconsiderate assholes who would only care they are stereotyping American Indians and change their behavior if they weren't so apathetic to the whole "baseball" thing.

The Bleacher Creatures in the Bronx yell the names of each player on the Yankees team because the bandwagon Yankees fans need to know which player is which on the field.

Mets fans have a ritual of throwing batteries at people because they have a severe distaste for recycling.

Marlins fans have a ritual of not showing up for Marlins games, because that's the way it has always been done.

Most teams have a city-specific ritual like the Budweiser jingle.

Then again, I was there in Oakland in October 1981 when something called The Wave made its national television debut. It seemed as if that crowd-pleasing thing would be the Athletics' "thing" forever.

Now that I think about it, the Wave isn't really a celebration or a ritual done during a celebration by players. I thought that's what Terence Moore didn't like. Apparently he hates all indications of excitement from players and fans alike. It seemed at first Terence hated player-initiated celebrations, but now it appears he hates it when fans act like they are enjoying a game. Enjoyment is so played-out.

(turns on his favorite Morrissey song)

You know the rest.

Now these rituals are everywhere and baseball has been completely ruined.

I know I have said this before, which means it is all played-out and tired by now, but this has to be the most pointless column I've read in a long time.


rich said...

The first time The Silent Thing was done, great. Funny. Clever. But now? Who cares?

This is jackassery of the highest order. It's not about you, so who gives a shit that you don't care. It's about the team and the guys who play, not about the fans.

The home plate celebration, the pranks, everything. The players don't give two fucks about what the fans find boring because over a 162 game season, you have to find entertainment. If that's playing a prank or celebrating a walk off HR, you do it.

What are the guys supposed to do, run on the field and tackle the guy as he rounds second?

But it was at least prominent during the early 1990s in Philadelphia, where reliever Mitch Williams loved smashing shaving cream pies into the faces of his fellow Phillies during interviews.

I'm a Phillies fan and while I remember Mitch doing this a lot (in between flashbacks to 93), I honestly don't care who does it now. I don't watch someone do it and go "fuck you, that's Mitch's thing!"

How completely out of ideas do you have to be to write an article like this?

I mean, I'm sorry, but some things become so popular that they become part of the game. Someone had to be the first to sing "take me out to the ballgame," someone had to be the first to have a gimmicky HR thing: the Brewers have the slide, the Mets have the Apple, the Phillies have the bell.

Terence must not know how things become popular - people see or hear about it and then they do it. Saying no one else should be able to do it because they didn't think of it is the real world equivalent of screaming "FIRST!1!!!!!1" on a thread.

If you sit through a 3.5 hour baseball game and get pissed off because of a HR celebration or chant or the wave, just stop watching.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, it's impossible to do a new celebration every time a team wins the game. I enjoy the old celebrations. When a player hits a walk-off home run I know his teammates are going to be at home plate and then jump around and pound him on the head like a bunch of idiots. It's stupid, but it is fun if your team is the one that hit the walk-off home run. It's a celebration, not performance art.

You have to be REALLY out of ideas to write this column. This is just nitpicking the stupidest of issues.

That "First" stuff on a thread is annoying and that's a pretty good comparison. There are only so many ways a team can celebrate and then it becomes more about the celebration than the play that won the game. I think the anticipation of a player getting a pie in his face during the interview is fun. You know its happening, so you just wait.

Terence Moore hates fun.

koleslaw said...

That said, even though I am a traditionalist, who still cringes at the thought of baseball without sunshine at Wrigley Field

As a Cubs fan, I cringe at the idea that they're not allowed to play more night games which might help them be a little less tired later in the year and actually make the fucking playoffs. Obviously that's not even close to the reason they don't make the playoffs but every little bit helps.

Bengoodfella said...

Koleslaw, that probably isn't the reason the Cubs don't make the playoffs...but it does give you a better chance of seeing the games played live if they are at night.