Baseball Now Endorses Swinging With a 3-0 Count With a Big Lead in the 9th Inning
The Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins, 16-4, on Monday night. Everyone's favorite utility player, Willians Astudillo, a.k.a. "La Tortuga" pitched the 9th for Minnesota with the Sox up 11 runs. La Tortuga retired the first two batters before falling behind 3-0 in the count to Chicago's equally physical catcher Yermin Mercedes. Astudillo then threw a 47 MPH Eephus pitch down the middle and Mercedes hit it out of the park.
Fun was had by all... right? Not so fast. The Twins broadcasters were not happy with the breaking of one of the sport's unwritten rules.
One person thought that maybe Mercedes got a word about it from Adam Eaton afterwards, but there's really no way to be sure.
The thing is, as soon as we saw the highlighit, we knew what was coming. Even if no one besides the broadcasters, probably ready to leave work at that point, really had anything to say about it. The first thing you think when something happens on a baseball field is everyone OK with that?
Maybe it's mostly strawmen at this point. Fans have moved on to enjoy shows of emotion and playing baseball at all times during baseball games, no matter the score. But when you see someone swing at a 3-0 pitch in a game that's all but over, you know you've heard someone complain about it before so you start to laugh at that person who may no longer even exist.
It may not be fair to the sport, but "they" spent so many years telling us about the "right way" that it's always in the back of our minds. Now matter how much we all enjoy a 245-pound catcher homering off of a 225-pound position player throwing tee-ball speeds.
So is Baseball OK with it? I mean, beyond posting fun clips on Twitter? We should find out in the next 36 hours or so as the Twins and White Sox have two games remaining in this series. If there's no retaliation of any kind, we'll know the game is moving on with the fans.