Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 comments Mitch Williams: The Gift That Just Keeps On Giving

I've come to love Mitch Williams' short blog postings. These short blog postings are usually as long as they are insightful. Today, Mitch Williams takes on Carlos Gomez and his flair for having flair while on the baseball field. Carlos Gomez has irritated his fellow baseball players before and now he's doing it again. The Pirates and Gerrit Cole took exception to Carlos Gomez flipping his bat and this created a brawl between the Pirates and Brewers. Mitch Williams is very much on team Cole and thinks that Carlos Gomez should not do things like flip his bat, but if he does more than that then the players should police themselves, which is sort of what happened during the brawl I believe.

After watching what happened in Pittsburgh yesterday when Carlos Gomez hit the long fly ball to center and flipped his bat, then jogged until he saw it wasn’t going out of the park, at which point he decided to run.

I'm not the king of grammar and sentence structure, so I would normally feel bad for pointing this out, "but after watching what happened in Pittsburgh yesterday..." what? What happened after this? This sentence just sort of ended without Mitch telling us what happened after he watched the game. It trails off as if Mitch got distracted by something shiny. After reading this sentence where Mitch Williams described what happened in the game between the Pirates and Brewers.

He ended up sliding into third with a triple, and when Gerrit Cole said something to him, Gomez charged off of third base at him.

It's baseball's version of justice. Gomez violated an unwritten rule, tempers flared, a fight started and the world moved on.

A couple of things come to mind when I see that. The first being that if I were Cole I would have charged back and tagged him out.
The second is wondering how many times this sort of thing has to happen with the same player instigating animosity between teams before something is done about it!

I like the paragraph break, but there is no additional line to indicate "The second" began a new paragraph. I think it's clear at this point that Mitch Williams edits his own blog. 

Back to these two sentences separately.

The first being that if I were Cole I would have charged back and tagged him out.

No, you would not have. Actually you know what, maybe Mitch would have tagged out Gomez if given the choice between making the tag and being punched in the face. If a human being is being charged, then I think the fight-or-flight reflex kicks in and making sure you get credit for the out isn't going to be the first priority. Especially since the umpires would probably claim Gomez isn't out since time was unofficially called before trying to tackle/punch/pretend to fight Gerrit Cole. But again, in this situation getting punched in the face just to record an out is not the correct move.

The second is wondering how many times this sort of thing has to happen with the same player instigating animosity between teams before something is done about it!

Here is the (lack of) brilliance of Mitch Williams. He states here that he wants "something done about it." Later in this short blog posting he will say what makes baseball great is the players police themselves. So how can something be done about it if Mitch wants the players to police themselves? This makes not of sense.

Last year it happened when he hit a home run off Paul Maholm. Even in the NFL there is a penalty for taunting. But there is no such rule in baseball. Since there is no rule, the players have to handle it themselves. I am speaking for both hitters and pitchers.

Does Mitch want a rule rather than have the players handle it themselves? Of course not, but this doesn't mean something shouldn't be done about it. MLB needs to do something about Carlos Gomez flipping his bat, while not actually doing anything that prevents the players from policing themselves. Perhaps Mitch wants MLB to issue a statement saying all violations of unwritten rules will result in unwritten suspensions and unwritten verbal warnings followed by fines that don't exist.

If a pitcher strikes a hitter out in the middle of a game and stares down a hitter, or does anything that shows that hitter up, I think the opposing pitcher has every right to send a messege to an opposing hitter that he better have a talk with his pitcher.

Hopefully Mitch Williams won't be providing this message in written form because it would probably be misspelled. Perhaps Mitch meant that the opposing pitcher has every right to send a MASSAGE to the opposing hitter in order to calm his nerves down and he just accidentally used the letter "e" instead of the letter "a." Or more likely, perhaps Mitch Williams can't spell very simple words and should have someone like a sixth grader looking over his shoulder to help him spell big words like "message."

I am of the firm belief that as a pitcher there is one out that you can celebrate, and that is the last out of a game.

Which not-so-coincidentally would be the out Mitch Williams got to celebrate as a pitcher since he was a closer. Weird how that works.

As for hitters, I have no problem with teams that get a big hit and drive a run in and look to their dugout and do an antlers sign or whatever it is that the team has come up with.

Teams can't celebrate scoring the last run of the game in a walk-off situation? Oh no, they can, it's just a batter can't celebrate hitting a home run if he isn't capable of fast-forwarding into the future to know he didn't actually hit a home run.

That creates team chemistry and it shows grown men who make a ton of money still are able to have fun.

You can't just create chemistry. Chemistry only happens through the constant display of the antlers sign. Everyone knows this.

What I couldn’t and can’t stand is a hitter who hits a home run, flips his bat and stands to admire it. As with pitchers the only home run that I think a hitter can throw his hands up in exultation and run as fast or as slow as he wants — as long as he runs while doing it — is a walk-off home run.

You know, if Mitch keeps writing down these rules for when players/teams can celebrate then they will no longer be unwritten rules. At that point, anarchy occurs because unwritten written rules are being violated.

That is not what is being done by Gomez. The ball he hit yesterday wasn’t even a home run.

Which was something Gomez didn't know until the ball landed in the field of play and not on the other side of the wall. So to say, "Gomez celebrated a hit that wasn't even a home run" is silly since the entire reason Gomez celebrated (prematurely as the case may be) is because he thought he had hit a home run.

So in my opinion Cole has every right to say something to him. The fact that Gomez felt the need to charge off third base after Cole should warrant a suspension.

The fact Cole was talking shit to Gomez, partially because he was embarrassed one of his pitches got lit up, is why Gomez felt the need to charge off third base after Cole. If Cole didn't have his pitch get lit up, he wouldn't have had to talk shit to Gomez at third base and the whole situation would have been avoided. Don't be pissy because Gomez almost took you deep.

Back in the old days, any time hitter showed up a pitcher, the next guy up got drilled. When that happens, the offending hitter’s teammates will take care of it.

Wait, so now Mitch is pulling this "back in my day" bullshit that sounds an awful lot like Cole wasn't in the right according to the unwritten rules and Cole should have drilled the next batter as opposed to mouth-off to Gomez at third base. Really MLB shouldn't let Mitch Williams have his own blog if he isn't going to spell words correctly nor make any damn sense when he writes. He says Cole was in the right in this situation, then states Cole didn't get retribution the way he should have.

A few years ago, the Rangers were playing the A’s and Vicente Padilla gave up a home run. The hitter didn’t stand and admire it. He didn’t do anything to show up Padilla. But Padilla drilled the next hitter. As a pitcher, if you make a mistake and a guy hits a home run off you and doesn’t do a thing to show you up and you hit the next guy, you are an idiot.

Okay, let's keep focused on the current situation and not talk about situations where the pitcher was in the wrong. This is supposed to be about how Gomez was in the wrong for admiring his home run and Cole had every right to jaw at Gomez while he was on third base.

The next inning, Michael Young came up and the A’s pitcher threw at him the entire at bat, until finally hitting him. In my opinion, that is what should have happened.

Part of the problem with this type of justice is suspensions will follow if a pitcher throws at a batter now. Each team gets one warning and then if another batter gets hit pitchers start getting ejected and suspensions could occur.

Plus, I can't read minds, but I would doubt the A's hit Young because Padilla violated an unwritten rule by hitting an A's batter who didn't violate an unwritten rule. Young got hit because an A's player got hit. It's probably that simple.

Following the game, the Rangers released Padilla. Well handled by the Rangers. So I don’t just take the pitcher’s side in these matters.

Well, Padilla did get the swine flu. I sort of feel like there is an unwritten rule stating if a pitchers gets the swine flu then his team must release him. If he flies back to you, using his new swine flu powers, then it's meant to be.

But when it comes to what Gomez did, let’s look at this from a pure common sense standpoint.

Oh, so we are back talking about Carlos Gomez again? If we are going to look at this from a pure common sense standpoint then who will be writing the rest of this column in Mitch's place?

Gomez has played eight years, averaging 14 home runs a season. He should be running hard out of the box every ball he hits.

Yes, Carlos Gomez should be hustling on every play. It's always a good idea. But this isn't about Carlos Gomez not hustling, but is about Gomez's behavior when he believes he hit a home run. Correct? Most baseball players don't hustle out of the box if they think they have hit a home run, so why would Gomez start sprinting out of the box if he thinks he's hit a home run? Recently Derek Jeter didn't hustle out of the box because he thought he hit a home run. This shit happens, yet somehow the world moves on.

Adam Dunn has played 14 years and has averaged 38 home runs per season. He hits balls that are no-doubt bombs. And yet Dunn drops his bat and runs. Miguel Cabrera has played 12 years and averages 35 home runs a year. He drops his bat and runs, too. Neither of them are speed burners, and they know when they have hit it out. But neither of them does anything to show up a pitcher.

Two things:

1. Miguel Cabrera and Adam Dunn's running speed is equivalent to Carlos Gomez's jogging speed.

2. These two players do not run out of the box if they think they have hit a home run. Not usually.

Last year Miggy hit a ball really well to right center in Detroit he took off running. The ball was caught and as he jogged across the mound, Miggy slapped the opposing pitcher on the butt as to say good job.

Cabrera was running because he knew he had not hit a home run. That's the difference. Mitch Williams is willfully ignoring that Gomez thought he had hit a home run, so that's why he didn't come tearing out of the box.

That is respecting the game! And the people you are playing against.

Remember the time Carlos Gomez hit a ball really well to left center and didn't even leave the batter's box, but instead started walking backwards to first base, then after he saw the ball was caught took a piss on the pitcher's mound as he walked backwards across it? That's not respecting the game and the people he is playing against.

I think Carlos Gomez has a ton of talent, but he needs to learn respect for the game and the players who play it. Like I said, the players should have fun and let their personalities show.

Let's see if I understand Mitch's position. Don't celebrate any accomplishment on the field that doesn't involve a show of antler horns with your teammates. Antler horns are fine and not running out of the batter's box is fine if you actually hit a home run. Thinking you hit a home run and not hustling of the batter's box is bad and disrespecting the game. The pitcher is perfectly allowed to jaw at that player who disrespected the game while he is on-base, except the pitcher should not jaw at the player while he is on-base and instead risk a suspension by throwing at the next batter, followed by one of his teammates getting hit the next inning.

I think that sums it up.

Would Gomez like it if a pitcher struck him out, and pointed his finger like it was a gun, and blew the the smoke off the barrel and waved him back to the bench? No, he wouldn’t.

No, he would not like that. It would hurt his feelings greatly.

But at this point, that would be warranted.

So is this another unwritten rule? If a batter violates an unwritten rule by showing up the pitcher then the pitcher can then violate an unwritten rule by mimicking the batter's behavior. I feel like these unwritten rules need to be written down, but then if they got written down they would become rules and everyone would realize how stupid they sound sometimes.

There is a great quote by Barry Sanders when asked why he didn’t celebrate when he scored a touchdown. He said, “I think you ought to act like you’ve been there before.”

I'm pretty sure it was just "Act like you've been there before," but I should probably be happy that Mitch Williams spelled all the words correctly in this sentence. I love that in baseball, a sport that is accused of not being exciting, players who try to differentiate themselves and have a personality are frowned upon.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ben, this has nothing to do with the post, but I'm wondering what you think about Derek Jeter being connected to yet another cheater in Michael Pineda. Between A-Rod, Giambi, Clemens, Pettite and now Pineda, Jeter sure has been around a lot of cheaters. I only bring this up because some sportswriters won't put guys like Bagwell and Piazza in the Hall of Fame simply because of suspicions, and yet Jeter is going to get in first ballot most likely. How come none of this rubs off on him? I'm not saying Jeter himself is a cheater, of course. But there's no proof that Bagwell and Piazza are either, and they get no free pass.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, he has been around a lot of cheaters. I think none of it rubs off on Jeter because he's never been considered "big" nor did he hit a lot of home runs. The groupthink seems to believe only those players who hit a ton of HR used PED's. I absolutely think that Jeter should not have this rub off on him, but I also feel the same way about Piazza or Bagwell. I like proof. I'm weird that way.

I don't think this stuff rubs off on Jeter because he hasn't hit enough HR and isn't considered a PED user basically. It shouldn't rub off on him, but it doesn't because he wasn't "big" and didn't enough HR's.

Just my opinion.