The Mets Cried, Anonymously, About Marcus Stroman’s Show of Excitement on the Mound
You know how you can tell an opponent feels really strong in their conviction that they’ve been aggrieved? That the other side was deeply wrong in something they did? That they are unquestionably in the right?
You can tell because they are so confident that they … whine and cry anonymously about it:
The Mighty Mets, it seems, were bothered by Marcus Stroman’s show of excitement last night in getting out of a jam in a huge moment in the 8th inning of a two-run game.
The Cubs right-hander pounded his chest and screamed into the visitor’s dugout at Wrigley Field after getting Francisco Alvarez to hit into a double play to complete the eighth inning.
The gesture didn’t go unnoticed by the Mets.
“What did we do to him?” one Met asked rhetorically after the team’s 4-2 loss to the Cubs.
One Mets player who witnessed the scene was more critical of Stroman.
“Show some respect,” the player said. “Be a professional. It isn’t all about you.”
It isn’t all about you. The pitcher, who stands alone on the mound, who starts each play, and who just got the outs. I mean, it’s a little bit about him, right? And Stroman is the first guy to credit the defense behind him for doing what they do, so the criticism is bizarre anyway.
Just be honest: you’re annoyed that you got beat. That you had opportunities to score, and you didn’t come through. Stroman’s celebration didn’t bother you because it was “disrespectful” or “unprofessional” – it bothered you because he was celebrating his team’s success in the face of your team’s failure. That’s professional sports.
And if you were so sure that Stroman had crossed a line, you know what you would’ve done? You would’ve put your name on the complaint, because you’d have no reason to fear standing behind your words. But you didn’t do that, because you know how petty and soft it sounds.
This kind of thing has just always bugged me, regardless of which side the Cubs were on. These are highly-competitive people playing an intense game full of huge moments. They want to have fun and show it (let them!). They want to compete and show excitement (let them!). Fans want to see that the players care. What we don’t want to see is some anonymous behavior policing, especially of comparatively tame displays of emotion.