Tempers flared between the Jays and White Sox during a thoroughly pointless game Tuesday night in Chicago (I think the Blue Jays won — did they? They did? Good!), and once again at the centre of it was Marcus Stroman.
Stroman is a pitcher whose animated style on the mound rubs some people the wrong way. He fidgets, he talks to himself — shouts at himself, even — and he celebrates emphatically when things go his way. He’s fun as hell! At least as far as I’m concerned — which is easy to say as a Blue Jays fan, I suppose. And lately he’s also made a timing-disrupting hiccup in his delivery a more regular part of his repertoire, to great effect.
All of these things were in play on Tuesday, when Tim Anderson of the White Sox took exception to the Jays’ ace. “Just the way he carried himself, I felt disrespected. I had to do what I had to do,” Anderson explained to reporters after the game (including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet). “When I stepped out when he was going slowly, he said a few words. I kind of let it go and then after he struck me out, he mumbled something else.”
Tim Anderson on what led to war of words with Marcus Stroman: "I stepped out and he just complains and cries like he always does."
— Israel Fehr (@israelfehr) August 2, 2017
Tim Anderson might need to fuck off!
We don’t see the start of the incident in the (soundless) video in the tweet below, but you get the idea. Stroman clearly didn’t like what Anderson was saying and that he was looking at him. “Why you looking at me?” he can clearly been seen saying.
— Lorraine McMillanG (@bluejaylover49) August 2, 2017
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Stroman characterized the incident — his second in as many outings — in a slightly different way, when he spoke with reporters following the game. He also declined to comment — and pretty clearly didn’t care for the question — when he was asked, “What does it matter if he’s talking when he’s going back to the dugout, it’s just talk, right?”
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I must admit, for a guy I just called “fun as hell,” he sure does seem to be super serious and combative about the whole thing, which… maybe isn’t a great look.
And — and this is where it gets kinda funny — it’s not just Anderson who apparently had a problem with Stroman’s conduct. Buck Martinez, perhaps not realizing that his mic was hot and his audio going out to those of us with MLB.tv, shared his own take during the aftermath of the incident, saying that Stroman “just can’t help himself.”
Video of Buck talking about Stroman thinking he's off air https://t.co/YhHKfLi9pZ
— Steven (@stv798) August 2, 2017
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Maybe Buck knew he was still on the air — I don’t know — but that commentary’s a liiiiiiiittle bit more biting than we’re used to from the team broadcaster, I think. Which, holy shit, isn’t to say that it’s wrong. It does kinda feel sometimes like Stroman could use some of the calmness that we saw out of J.A. Happ while he was getting hosed and stared down by Angel “put your mask back on” Hernandez over the weekend.
But then he wouldn’t be Stroman, would he?
And it’s not exactly like this one was (entirely) his fault — or… y’know… anything. It was a pretty minor incident, all things considered. I wasn’t even going to write about it until I saw that the Buck clip had surfaced! At which point I jumped at the chance, knowing that I’d also get to share this hilarious tweet from some White Sox fan who obviously doesn’t quite comprehend what Earl’s son would be capable of.
Let it be known, Tim Anderson would DESTROY Marcus Stroman.
— ShhhhLiar (@ShhhhLiar) August 2, 2017
Nor does he know what Tim Anderson is capable of either, it turns out:
Let it be known, Marcus Stroman has a better career OPS than Tim Anderson https://t.co/vFh1SvjSE1
— The_Road_Guy (@The_Road_Guy) August 2, 2017