I’m looking forward to the Seattle Mariners commercials this year, as always. ⚾️
Monday night, San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. swung on pitch, served over the plate on a 3-0 count for a grand slam, in a game which was already fully in the Padres control. The Texas Rangers felt like they were being showed up by Tatis Jr. swinging on said pitch. It's just another page in the debate on if we should "let the kids play".
Baseball is full of "unwritten rules". I've heard many from not attempting to steal a base if your team is up big, never walk across the pitchers mound as you leave the field, and never showing anyone up wether it's yelling at the opposing team's dugout or flipping your bat after a home run. That last one I have a bit of a problem with, as I don't understand the supposed lack of emotion one is supposed to have in a big moment. I feel like there's a line here, and that line is obviously in different spots for others. But, my thing is this: as long as a guy doesn't prolong his celebration, then I don't have a problem with it. Further, if you don't throw 3-0 junk over the plate, it's not going to get hammered.
Instead, the Texas Rangers demanded an apology from Tatis Jr., in which he for some reason obliged. It's not like we haven't seen this kind of belly aching from the Rangers before. I can think of at least two other examples.
2015 ALDS - The Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays were in a 3-3 tie in Game 5, when Jose Bautista launched a three run bomb over the left-centerfield wall. In such a back and forth and highly contested series, it was only right Bautista let out a little emotion, which was displayed with a pretty epic bat flip.
The Rangers took exception to the display and beaned the next hitter, Edwin Encarnación. OK, fine, this should end it, right? Nah.
The following season, the Blue Jays made their was to Arlington to meet with the Rangers. In another tightly contested game, Justin Smoak dibbled a ball to third for what should be a tailor made double play, except Bautista slid into second breaking up the double play and sending Rougned Odor's throw to first wide left. Odor then pushes Bautista before landing a punch right to Jose's jaw, igniting a melee. There was nothing wrong with the slide, Bautista was just doing his job, but it was apparent the Rangers were still in their feelings about what happened in the ALDS the year before.
2010 World Series - In the 2010 Fall Classic, the Texas Rangers met the San Francisco Giants. You might be thinking to yourself, nothing happened on the field here. You'd be right. It was technically off the field.
In 2012, I was in the Bay Area to take a weekend course, but I had an entire week to kill while I was there. So, I took the CalTrain up to San Francisco to spend the day exploring the city on foot. My first stop was to take a tour of AT&T Park. The tour was nice, we got to go all around the stadium, from the locker room, to the press room, and even to Tony Bennet's personal suite. We also got to go onto the field (just not on the grass).
It was here the tour guide explained a little detail about the visitors dugout. There's a bench which sits down the center of the dugout, something fairly common in baseball. It was explained it was recently modified to include a seat back, so players could recline comfortably. It was added when the Texas Rangers complained during the 2010 World Series.
Oracle Park (then named AT&T Park at the time of my visit), opened in 2000. For nearly 11 full seasons, that opposing bench sat with no seat back. Not even the arch rival Dodgers (who hold a lot of clout) complained. The joint was even renovated to prep for the 2007 MLB All-Star Game, and that bench wasn't touched to accommodate the elite players of the American League. Count on the Texas Rangers though.