Ronald Acuna Jr. had been embarrassing the Miami Marlins for 3 games, batting .615 in the series with 9 runs batted in and, oh yeah, he also dick slapped 4 home runs. You could say he was playing pretty well. Frankly, Acuna was straight up disrespecting Marlins pitchers in the most fantastic way all series long.
Real quick, for those of you who don’t know who Ronald is, he’s a 20 year old phenom who’s made a huge impact for the Atlanta Braves this season. He’s been a monster and if you want a player to follow in the future, he’s the guy to keep an eye on.
Anyway, on Wednesday Acuna was hit by the first pitch of the Braves vs. Marlins game. The pitch was thrown by Jose Urena and if there’s one thing that Mr. Urena has never been accused of… IT’S THAT HE THROWS SLOW. He throws missiles. No doubt getting hit by a 97 MPH hurts a bunch. Like imagine stepping on a goddamn Lego in the middle of the floor and multiply that pain by 100. Not to mention, he got hit in the elbow which has minimal cushion between the skin and the bone, obviously. Yeah, go ahead, check yours out.
Now onto the whole point of this article:
Baseball is a beautiful sport, but it’s not super interesting to just sit down and watch, especially if your not emotionally invested in a team. It’s just not. And if you don’t have a favorite team or your favorite team is trash, you can forget about it. For me, I like watching baseball but that’s because I’m a fan of the sport and I can appreciate the intricacies of it. Also, playoff baseball is unreal. However, baseball is not an inherently fun sport to watch for most and I get that. There’s just not a ton of drama, non-stop action, or violence like the 3 other major sports in America have.
I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about how this incident is bad for baseball and that the unwritten rules of baseball are stupid but I wholeheartedly disagree with both statements. First off, this was not bad for baseball. What’s the one thing that has been getting headlines this week in the world of baseball? Yeah, it’s this, so relax, all of you stuffy journalists who know nothing about baseball. Losers. As for the second statement, the unwritten rules of baseball are a cornerstone of the fact that baseball is the most self-correcting sport in the world. By that I mean that there are no 15 yard penalties or technical fouls, called by officials, that can change the dynamic of the game. Just ejections, but most of the time, the drop off from one player to another isn’t too drastic. What happened in the Braves vs. Marlins game was not really apart of the “unwritten” rules, though, it was an anomaly. That was just a pitcher being stupid and I’ve never really seen something like that before in that type of situation. In baseball, teams and players take it upon themselves to do what they need to do and guess what… the other team can then retaliate in any way they see fit. It’s a constant circle. This presents a natural deterrent so if you don’t want someone from your team getting drilled in the ribs by a 97 MPH fastball the next half inning, I would suggest you behave and just throw a strike.
Keith Hernandez made a remark that got people talking during the broadcast of the game, he said “he had to hit him,” which is just incorrect. There wasn’t even a hunch that Acuna was going to get hit by the first pitch he saw. Nobody saw that coming and it’s simply disingenuous for Keith to say that in hindsight. No way in hell that guy was whispering to his co-broadcasters saying, “watch out here, Acuna is gunna get a heater to the ‘bow. Bet.” That being said, everyone who went at Keith needs to relax, the pitcher hitting Acuna wasn’t out-of-this-world disgraceful, it was just dumb. I mean, hitting the lead-off guy because he’s on fire is just a backward ass way for the pitcher (Urena) to admit that he sucks at baseball and all he can do is throw hard. There IS, also, very good chance that he was told by his manager to hit Acuna to get him off his game, which speaks more for the lack of intellect in the Marlins dugout. Hitting a lead-off guy for being really good and doing well in a series is relatively unprecedented. Like I said, I’ve never really seen or heard of it happening, although I could be wrong. Normally, you just walk the guy but since he was the lead-off hitter, that wasn’t going to happen. Players will usually catch some laces in the spine for pimping the hell out of a home run or doing something dirty on the base-paths.
It’s never any good when star players get hurt, no one wants that, but to get all high and mighty and saying “there’s no room for that in baseball,” get over yourself. I don’t condone reckless attempts to injure, especially without warrant. Some players are just stupid and do stupid things at stupid times. But sometimes there’s reason and one could argue that there was strategic purposes to hitting Acuna on Wednesday night. That’s why opposing teams have the obligation to defend their guys by doing what is necessary in retaliation. That’s a dynamic that is non-existent in most other sports… Because of the length of the season in baseball, you see more star players involved in altercations because they can afford to be suspended a few games. You don’t see that in basketball or football much because of shorter seasons and immediate, in-game penalties.
Here are two videos of star MLB players getting into brawls.
Bryce Harper Brawl:
Zack Greinke Brawl:
The bottom line is that baseball needs to be edgy at times because it’s apart of the game and it’ll help the sports popularity in the future. Baseball has the capability of balancing itself out without the help of the league officials handing out suspensions, even though I know it happens.
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