Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fist Pumps, Chest Bumps, and ESPN

Am I the only one who finds it funny that ESPN and their clone-minded brethren in the mainstream media have decided to make Joba Chamberlain the poster boy of celebrations, as if no other pitcher has done the same - or worse - for years?

I just read a ridicylous front page story all about it, and how it's "ruining the game."

Nevermind that for years now, Francisco Rodriguez has done the cha-cha after a strikeout.

Nevermind that Jonathan Papelbon drops invisible turds on the mound on a regular basis.

Nevermind that Jose Valverde yells at invisible unicorns after each out.

Nevermind that Manny Ramirez stands like the Statue of Liberty watching meaningless homer after meaningless homer go over the wall (don't worry, ESPN is there to reminid you it's just him being him).

Nevermind that Derek Jeter's fist pump after throwing out a baserunner has been shown over and over in commercials and restrospectives and that he's not only called the classiest player since Joe DiMaggio, but scientists have re-animated the corpse of Marilyn Monroe just so he could fuck her zombie and pass the torch.

Nevermind that Sammy Sosa's homerun routine was so practiced and repeated that every video game used it for his avatar.

Nevermind that Pedro Martinez fist pumped all the time after ending an inning.

No, this is now an issue because it's Joba, and he's a Yankee. Yankees aren't supposed to be having fun.

So the media goes looking for quotes from guys who played in a totally different era, like Goose Gossage:
"He's a great kid, but no one is passing the torch today. Nobody talks to them. When I broke into the big leagues, I didn't say two words all year... I'm trying to think of what would've happened if I did what Joba did, especially if I was a rookie," he told The Record. "The veterans would've sat me down so fast, it would've never happened a second time. Truthfully, there would've never been a first time."

Goose, man, I love you to death, but this isn't 1972 anymore. When you started, there was no DH, few foreign players, the Vietnam draft was in effect, the Texas Rangers were in their first season, Willie Mays was still playing centerfield, and the all-time homerun leader was still Babe Ruth.

Times have changed. The sports has changed. People have changed. Do we really want to see rookies like Joba afraid to "say two words all year" anymore?

Let it be said that I am not a fan of celebrations in most instances, except in cases of a game-winning or game tying hit in the 9th inning, or something similar. However, giving a fist pump isn't showing up the opposition. If Joba starts pointing at batters and telling them to go back to the bench after a K (like media darling Dennis Eckersley did repeatedly during his career), well then that's a different story.

I'm not defending the celebrations, I'm simply saying that there have been plenty of targets to go after for years now, and the media have largely ignored them. The article I liked doesn't even mention Rodriguez, whose over-the-top celebrations made a mockery of the 2002 playoffs. Nope: rally monkeys. Grit. Hustle. Ecksteinitude. Small ball. Scioscianess. That's what we were fed.

The difference now is there's a Yankee that can be targeted, and the boys at the big network from New England aren't going to let that opportunity pass them by.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:42 PM   0 comments


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