Since you’re reading this, you have probably watched a fair amount of the MLB postseason, including the World Series. Presuming you have indeed done that, you have probably seen this quite a number of times:
Play loud! That sounds fun! That sounds like something that might get younger fans involved in the game!
During Game 6 of the World Series, this mantra was put to the test. In the first inning, Alex Bregman homered off Stephen Strasburg. Watch what he does with his bat. [VIDEO]
Bregman carried his bat to first base and tried to hand it to first base coach Don Kelly, who pulled his hand away from it like it could communicate some sort of rare disease, and then Bregman dropped the bat.
Four innings later, Washington’s Juan Soto did the same thing (though without the rare disease) [VIDEO].
A bit of fun. This isn’t even “playing loud,” it’s “playing with a bit more volume than utter quiet.” It’s about the mildest celebratory thing I’ve seen done by a player wanting to enjoy his home run. It’s not even a bat flip — and there are four bat flips in MLB’s promo video!
So this isn’t a problem, right?
By the time the game ended with a Nationals win, it was apparently a BIG problem:
Alex Bregman issued an apology after carrying his bat with him to first base following his first-inning home run ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/8ZHY7NtIq3— ESPN (@espn) October 30, 2019
And then Nationals manager Dave Martinez apologized on behalf of Soto:
Nationals Manager Dave Martinez: “We didn’t like it. And the fact that Soto did it, I’ll be quite honest with you, I didn’t like it when he did it as well. It’s a conversation I’ll have with Juan. That’s not who we are.” https://t.co/zKufj8Rmc0— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 30, 2019
To which I say:
Are you kidding me?
Again, what Bregman and Soto did is about the most placid form of having some fun after hitting a home run. MLB made a promotional video about having fun! ALEX BREGMAN IS IN THE VIDEO HITTING A HOME RUN AND THEN GIVING SOME SORT OF LOOK IN THE DUGOUT! JUAN SOTO IS IN THE VIDEO TWERKING!
Is all that wrong too, MLB? Did you make this video not thinking your players were, you know, actually going to do these things? Or had already done them?
Here are a couple of valid points about all this:
Dave Martinez - who needed to be restrained by two colleagues from assaulting the umpire after a call that at that point didn’t really matter - would like to have a discussion about decorum. https://t.co/b814lzIvGu— Tao of Stieb (@TaoofStieb) October 30, 2019
New ad campaign: We play loud. Just not too loud that we upset the cranks who cling to the unwritten rules.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 30, 2019
Seriously, Marc Carig is correct. These “unwritten rules” have to go. MLB is going out of its way trying to appeal to younger people. The “We Play Loud” promo video is excellent, tying baseball generations together and showing how modern generations enjoy the game. Here’s a summary of all of the above events:
A.J. Hinch: Bregman shouldn't have carried the bat.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) October 30, 2019
Dave Martinez: Soto shouldn't have done it either.
Alex Bregman: I'm sorry I did that.
Juan Soto: It was awesome Bregman did it so I thought I'd do it too. All of this is fun.
And a little child shall lead them.
If you hit a home run in the World Series — especially in a possible elimination game — why shouldn’t you get a little excited and enjoy it? Especially Soto — look how hard this one was hit and at the height of the arc:
It’s time for MLB honchos to let the “unwritten rules” guys know that they need to back off when celebrations like this happen. They want the kids to play, according to this:
And they want them to “play loud,” per the promo video above that you’ve seen all postseason.
Then let them do it.