Let me get this straight: Aroldis Chapman does a couple of somersaults off the mound and he supposedly violated some unwritten baseball code of showing up the opponent? If he were an everyday player, he’d get plunked in his next at-bat? Really?
The guy was just displaying some youthful exuberance Tuesday night. And since when is sports supposed to be like negotiating a peace treaty? It’s entertainment. The decorum police need to lighten up.
After the stretch the Reds reliever has endured, who can blame him for a spontaneous celebration? He had been getting lit up after going through the opening two months without allowing a run. He was blowing so many saves, Reds fans may have been pining for a return of Francisco Cordero.
OK, they’re not that desperate yet. But it makes a comment uttered by teammate Drew Stubbs earlier this season look a little ridiculous now. On how helpless batters are when facing Chapman, Stubbs said: “It’s a spectacle. It’s almost comical, just knowing the opponent really doesn’t have a chance.”
No chance? I figured that statement could come back to haunt the Reds. Major-league hitters are a proud bunch, and you can’t insult them like that and expect to get away with it.
Stubbs should have known that no pitcher is unhittable. Opponents managed to scratch out runs, at least occasionally, against Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson and other all-time greats. Yes, good pitching beats good hitting, but that adage isn’t true every time.
Chapman’s save Tuesday was promising, but that’s no guarantee he’s straightened himself out. And if he doesn’t, the Reds won’t have to worry about curtailing those somersaults. Someone else will be closing out games.
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