There’s no crying in baseball.
Tom Hanks would have you believe that, in any case. Me? I don’t buy it. Perhaps not openly, in a Paul Gascoigne style, but surely at some point, your average MLB pro will sit down and a single tear will roll down his highly paid and highly pampered cheek.
This week, however, there is perhaps one man who would be entitled to open the floodgates and let loose a flood of tears that would make Niagara Falls jealous – Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales.
In the grand scheme of the A-Rods, K-Rods, Dice-Ks, HanRams and even Strasburg’s, Morales isn’t a name that stands out. This has been his week to make headlines though. Not through his batting average – which leads the Angels; Not through his home run count – which leads the Angels. Not even through his RBI figure – which leads the Angels. Even though Morales scored the walk off grand slam that gave the Angels a win over the lacklustre Mariners, that wasn’t the talking point.
No, what made Kendry Morales the name on the lips of baseball fans around the world was the fact that as he rounded third base and trotted home, his team mates flooded around home plate to cheer him home, and he did the now traditional jump onto home plate and was swamped.
Somewhere in the midst of things, Kendry snapped his left leg.
The benches emptying to celebrate a game ending homer has long been a highlight of television‘s coverage of baseball, but this has already sent shockwaves around the leagues; sports talk shows have been engaged in heated debates about banning these kind of mob celebrations, even the Angels celebrated in a more low key manner in the following game.
This one accident shouldn’t bring down the curtain on teams making the most of the big moment, though. The players that score the game winning homer shouldn’t have to mind the Ps and Qs as they walk home demurely. Passion in players is one thing that shouldn’t be wiped out. All that needs to happen, and this shouldn’t even need to be told to professional athletes – is to be careful.
Do we really want robots playing the game? If teams are ordered from upon high to tone down the celebrations, where does the line get drawn? Common sense should be the guiding factor here, not whatever edict comes down from MLB management.
Simply put – guys with bats? Don’t jump on the legs of your team mates when you’re celebrating, there’s good chaps.