The upstart San Diego Padres, one of the most fun teams in the league, are making a hard charge at the reigning reigning reigning (lots of reignings in a row) NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s exciting to see the possibility of the Dodgers being dethroned, and you could understand why Padres players would be especially jacked up.
For example, if you were a young Padres player and you hit a home run in the 6th inning off of Clayton Kershaw to tie the game, you’d be pretty pumped, right? You might stare it down a little extra, or maybe turn to your dugout? Do a little bat toss? I sure as hell would. Here’s Trent Grisham doing it:
The Padres, sufficiently pumped, went on to add five runs the next inning, and beat the Dodgers, closing the NL West gap to just 1.5 games. Grisham’s homer was a BIG deal.
But that didn’t stop Dodgers manager Dave Roberts from crying after the game in the lamest way possible.
“I don’t mind guys admiring a homer, certainly it’s a big game, big hit,” Roberts said after the game. “[I] really like the player. But I just felt that to over – kind of – stay at home plate, certainly against a guy like Clayton who’s got the respect of everyone in the big leagues and what he’s done in this game, I just took exception to that. Because I think that there’s a certain respect that you give a guy [like that] if you homer against him.”
So … you can enjoy a big home run, but not if you hit it off a good pitcher? What if it’s just a decent pitcher? What if it’s a really unimportant home run off of a terrible pitcher? It takes about two seconds to realize how utterly banal and stupid this point is, and you look like a giant weenie if you whine about it.
A pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber “deserves” to be treated fairly as a competitor. And if a batter gets him in a big spot, then so be it. He can’t control what the batter does, and short of that batter coming to the mound and peeing on his shoes, it’s all in the game. What, is Grisham supposed to apologize for crushing the ball? “I’m so sorry to do that to you, sir, I know that you’re a future Hall of Famer, and I should instead kiss the rings you don’t have.”
At least Kershaw, himself, had the right position: “I’m not going to worry about their team. Let him do what he wants.”
Keep in mind, it is this Dodgers team that made famous a line about getting a ball out of the ocean when Madison Bumgarner beefed with Max Muncy. I mean, they turned it into a t-shirt:
This is the second time this year the Padres’ young hitters have been caught up in a completely asinine, “old school” beef about “respect.” Fernando Tatis Jr. got crap – including from his own manager – for DARING to swing at 3-0 pitch and hit a grand slam in a seven-run game.
Just keep doing your thing, Padres.