As sports fans, we sometimes lose perspective about basic notions of rmorality. Take yesterday for instance; both Chris and I agreed that Jesus Guzman of the Padres was probably going to get plunked by the Giants for his overly-enthusiastic home run celebration on Tuesday night at AT&T Park. We didn't stop to wonder whether it was right or wrong. It was simply part of baseball's time-honored code.
Fast-forward a few hours. My wife and I are watching the game, and I tell her Guzman is probably going to be drilled by Madison Bumgarner. Lo and behold, the first pitch whizzes past Guzman's backside, nearly sparking a benches-clearing brawl.
I felt pretty good about my skills of prognostication. My wife was incensed. "That's stupid. What kind of example is that for kids?" She felt even stronger after seeing a replay of Guzman's home run from the night before. "That's all he did? He was just excited about hitting a home run."
Mr. Sportscaster was about to explain the birds and bees of baseball's unwritten rules when I realized...she was absolutely right. We drill the lessons into our children's heads at an early age. Adages about sticks & stones and two wrongs not making a right apparently have no place in Major League Baseball, where the slightest offense must be swiftly addressed with violence.
At what point do baseball players get to ignore the values we try to teach our kids? And why do we so blindly condone it when they do? Think about that the next time the benches clear.