Fans of sitting with their jaws agape incredulously asking how? and why? got a treat from Sportsnet’s broadcast following Sunday’s Blue Jays victory over the Anahim, as “manalyst” Gregg Zaun defended the honour of the Angels who not only lost to Marcus Stroman, but also had to endure him celebrating and yelling and being excited about it.
Here’s the clip (via Reddit):
For those who’d rather read it, a transcription:
There’s no reason for it, it’s an unsportsmanlike way to behave. You just dominated somebody. Just high five your teammates and go back in the clubhouse and celebrate. I don’t understand why the jumping around, the flashy, the showboating, the rubbing it in people’s face. Whether you’re talking to them or not, the fact that you’re looking at them and screaming and hollering, it just — it ruins a perfectly good day. For people like me, it just ruins a perfectly good day. I just don’t get it. You can be pleased with yourself, you can be excited, but there’s a certain way to behave on a Major League Baseball field, and there’s ways not to do it. And, you know what? Eventually it’s going to come around. And unfortunately there’s no reason to draw a bigger target on your back, when you’re a Major League Baseball player. When you’re good, people want to beat you — they already want to beat you enough. Why make it worse? Why draw more attention to yourself based on something that you have control over that has nothing to do with your performance on the field. I just don’t understand it. Maybe it’s this new generation, everybody’s got to have that ‘dig me’ moment.
The key line here, for me, is this one: “there’s a certain way to behave on a Major League Baseball field, and there’s ways not to do it.”
Zaun, and all the dinosaurs like him, aren’t really complaining about behaviour. Think of how nuts it would be if he actually felt like his day was ruined because Marcus Stroman was excited that he won a ballgame! Is Gregg Zaun genuinely implying that he’s a total fucking baby, or that the Angels are so unbelievably soft that no one ought to dare celebrate the “wrong way” in front of them, lest their fragile little minds be snapped by the “disrespect”? I don’t think that’s what he’s doing. I think what he’s doing is complaining about the loss of his ability to dictate how players behave. You know, like the way he once bragged about Cal Ripken and crew using literal physical violence to keep him in line.
Ho ho ho! The good old days!
Crazy that the younger generation he laments may have decided that a little showboating isn’t so bad, and perhaps not deserving of a fastball in the ribs or physical intimidation at the hands of one’s own teammates, isn’t it?
Er… that is, the younger generation and Jason Grilli, whose screaming, fist-pumping celebrations (which are awesome) surely have been ruining days for Zaun ever since he arrived in Toronto a year ago — though I don’t recall hearing of him being this much of a pisspants about it. (Full disclosure: mercifully, because I watch games through MLB.tv, I don’t ever have to see Zaun. So it’s possible he’s complained about Grilli, too.)
Also, y’know, not to kick a guy while I’m kicking him, but just how much credibility on “sportsmanship” does Mr. “I gave my teammate a blank cheque for a gambling debt and I have no idea how it ended up with a steroid dealer” think he has? Or even removing that unseemly episode from the equation, does Gregg Zaun: Fun Police sound like something any of us can reconcile? Because I’m pretty sure when he’s not doing the Zaun Cherry thing on TV, Gregg’s out there having a hell of a time.
There’s also this:
"There's a certain way to behave on a MLB field," shouldn't make the game about you, says a man wearing a bright pink suit on national tv
— Amberly McAteer (@amberlym) April 23, 2017
And another thing! If there’s room for a big leaguer to “make it worse” against a certain pitcher he especially doesn’t like because of the guy’s showboating, he probably needs to be asking himself some hard questions about where that extra motivation is against every other pitcher, y’know? Do teams take it easier on less demonstrative pitchers? Shit, I think I’ve found a new market inefficiency!
But again, of course, it’s not about that. It’s not actually serious — which isn’t to excuse the uncomfortable ease with which these sorts of complaints almost always (or at least disproportionately) just happen to involve black or Latino players — it’s about control. About the fact that the damn kids aren’t listening to their elders. And it’s about the fact that losing that control is a signal of the irrelevance of all kinds of things these dinosaurs once held dear, that the game is passing them by, and that they’re inching each day closer to the cornfield.
Or at least that’s my armchair psychoanalysis based on all the other damn times this sort of horseshit has become a thing. And about that: uh… from now on, can we maybe just fucking not?
The Angels aren’t such children that they can’t take a couple shouts from the pitcher who just beat them. No need to defend them from that big meany Marcus, Gregg.