Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mouthy Tigers

Some say rules are made to be broken. Perhaps. Lord knows we've all broken a few here and there, be it traffic violations, minor theft, cheating at something, and a variety of others. Just because you don't get caught and/or punished doesn't mean you didn't break the rule.

However, wayward behavior can come with risk. Some rules just aren't supposed to be broken lest the consequences be severe.

Thou shalt not kick a skunk. Very bad idea. Don't mouth off to a cop, let alone a judge. That can be problematic. Falsely screaming "FIRE" in a theater or "BOMB" on an airplane will get one in a heap of trouble. Don't do that. Never walk into a biker bar late at night and proudly announce "I'm the baddest mofo on the planet and I came to kick ass". What will come next is usually very painful.

Sports have their rules. Tons of them. Players try to see just how much they can get away with all the time. But some are definite no-nos.

One of them is arguing balls and strikes with a home plate umpire. Major League Baseball banned that with good reason some time ago. The game is slow enough as it is and the ump doesn't need the hassle. You won't see Little Leaguers or even high school and college players doing this. They wouldn't dare. Plus, they've been taught better. Only the pros try to get away with it once in a while. Yet they do so at their own risk as well.

Case in point was the recently concluded Detroit Tigers game against the LA Angels. Victor Martinez of the Tigers objected to a pitch which he thought was low being called a strike. The ump warned him. But V-Mar, a known hothead, kept yapping. The ump tossed him out of the game, as he should have. Martinez knew better but did it anyway.

Generally speaking, different umps have different strike zones. Most times players are OK with it as long as the ump is consistent and calls it the same for both teams. If a particular ump is calling a "low" strike then players have to live with it.

A short while later in the same game, Tiger J.D. Martinez had the same thing happen to him. He beefed. He got the boot as well. Boys, boys, this ump isn't fooling around. Nor should he. The rule is the rule and everybody knows it.

Incredibly, manager Brad Ausmus came out of the dugout to argue another called strike. Guess what happened? Hit the showers BA. You're gone too.

Don't these guys ever learn? The original Martinez ouster should have sent the message loud and clear. This ump won't tolerate such nonsense and is well within his rights, and the rules, to send such offenders packing.

The Tigers are currently in a dogfight trying to make the postseason. Their chances appear iffy at best. They need all hands on deck to contribute. And presumably a manager. They would lose this game to the lowly Angels. Can the loss be attributed to the star players being ejected? Maybe. Will this one L make a difference as to whether they make the playoffs? It could happen.

And all because a few loud mouths didn't know when to shut up.

There's really no excuse for it.

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