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Photo Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Stroman and Anderson Beef; Buck On Stroman: ‘He Just Can’t Help Himself’

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.”

Also:

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.

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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.”

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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.

Nor does he know what Tim Anderson is capable of either, it turns out:

LOL!!!!!!

  • Oz Rob

    I dunno, I’m starting to think that Stroman is a bit of a dick to be honest. We tend to support him because he’s ‘ours’, but his manner with the media reeks of being a jerk. He just dismisses most questions with formulated crap, which is not uncommon at all, but his body language is telling. Rosie got him good with that question – clearly struck a nerve!

    Some other random thoughts. So many people trash the front office …but maybe they are pretty smart huh?. Smoak turned out ok and weren’t they trying hard to get Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen over the offseason? Geez, they’d look good in our lineup right now – especially if we had them for an entire season, even one of them. I think we need to trust their process.

    Also..why is no-one ‘celebrating’ Jose Bautista a little bit more. yep, terrible season but it’s likely his last one with us. Jays legends always seem to go out awkwardly. Stoeten was about the only one who talked about the Bautista goodbye the other day.

    • ErnieWhitt

      I’m not so sure I’m giving credit to the front office for guys they almost acquired, and ignoring the ones they actually did.

      Also – it is very common for sports figures to end their careers awkwardly. Its not just a Blue Jays thing. Once a guys age and performance rises above his play on the field, there is often a split that leaves fans feeling like a legacy is at risk. If Bautista is done this season, I say a 2-3 year period would be more than plenty to wait before we have him back to see #19 headed up to the level of excellence.

    • The Humungus

      Stroman might be a dick, but you’re right. He’s *OUR* dick.

      Let’s face it, there are a lot of unlikable assholes on this team. If Donaldson played anywhere else, we’d all hate his guts. Same with Bautista, Stroman and Pillar. Hell, my sister is a Jays fan and she’s hated Pillar for years.

      I’m totally fine with the Jays being some kind of cowboy villain franchise. Fuck, that’s a great team identity. It’s better than being a bunch of bland, plattitude speaking robots who talk about playing the game “the right way” and giving it “110% perfect” and “working hard for the team”.

      I want my team to be exciting, and obnoxious, and have all the swagger. I want my third baseman to yell “suck my cock” and grab his dick at the other team’s bench. I want batflips and histrionics. Give me all the hatred from other teams fan bases.

      Because, if other teams want to stick it to the Jays really bad when they play, maybe it gives the Jays a bit of an edge. Psychology and such.

    • jays17

      I’m with you, if he wasn’t on our side we wouldn’t like him one bit and we’d be calling him a punk (he kind of is in some respects). Speaking of Buck’s biting commentary, Stoeten could stand to stop being such a homer himself. Stroman thinks he’s allowed to yell scream, whisper to himself, etc on the mound whenever he pleases and everyone should ignore it. Then Anderson strikes out walking away mumbling to himself and Stroman has to confront him? Stroman should STFU, he can’t have it both ways.

      Not like we want to get into the Stroman/Sanchez rift but I’m not surprised and who wants to place bets it’s Stro starting crap?

      • The Humungus

        If that was what happened, then sure. But Anderson was staring Stroman down while doing it.

        Anderson perceived some slight because Stroman got pissed that the ump granted time while he was in his motion, albeit during an extended pause. Stroman has every right to be pissed, because, by rule, time should not have been granted. Anderson took it as “crying” and decided to try to show him up in some way. Anderson himself admitted both the time call and the mumbling were an attempt to get Stro off his game. So, why is Stro in the wrong for confronting him?

  • ErnieWhitt

    Maybe you can pass roid rage on down the generations?

    Seriously though, 2 guys chirp each other while misreading the other’s body language. It happens every single day on the subway on my way home from work. I can’t really get too upset that Marcus is the type of guy to bark before he thinks.

    Listen to any one of these guys after the game and what happened becomes so nebulous its without meaning.

    “He carried himself wrong” “He looked at me” “He mumbled something”… Its childish for certain, but for the media to start drawing grand conclusions about a person based on these incidents is pretty far out there.

    • Glassman

      Would you say the same thing about Grilli? He goes crazy after every successful inning. Their is nothing wrong with showing emotion. Stroman talks to himself a lot and I think as he gets older more players and umps will understand that is the way he is and it isn’t meant to be disrespectful the same way Grilli shows his emotion. Players on other teams have stood up for Stroman. Longoria says he is one of the toughest pitchers he has faced. Souza Jr said he should have been at the all star game. You don’t hear the complaints this year coming from division rivals because they know what to expect and know he is not talking to disrespect someone. It’s to pump himself up.

  • conebone69

    I love the fire. Not a lot of teams have guys that play with this kind of passion. I think people can forget that baseball is an emotional game, and some guys are at their best when they’re bringing the fire vs. the stoic, block-it-out type.

    I would take the sometimes-misplaced intensity of a Stroman or Bautista over watching Alex Rios fail to run out a ground ball 10 times out of 10. We’re lucky to have these guys.

  • spud64

    Fan reaction to Stroman is weird. One of the most revered Leafs is Darcy Tucker and he was an emotional powder keg given to some at times over the top actions on the ice. Somehow with Stroman the average fan feels like he needs to chill..I kinda like his intensity, more players could perhaps benefit from playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder.