Criticizing Chapman’s Celebration Would Be Hypocritical | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

 

Major League Baseball is famous for their etherial Unwritten Rules, which supposedly exist to retain the integrity of the game.

A team should not steal a base when up by five runs in the ninth inning. Don’t attempt to break up a no-hitter late in the game with a bunt. Do not show up the opposing team with unnecessary celebration, or you’ll get a pitch in the back the next time.

That final rule relates to the tweet featured above. Cincinnati Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Martin Maldonado to secure the one-run victory. With a huge smile on his face, Chapman proceeded to engage in back-to-back somersaults in celebration. In case you missed it:

The outcry on Twitter was instantaneous. The Brewers needed to retaliate on Wednesday because Chapman “showed them up” with his celebration. Articles immediately hit the blogosphere, stoking the fire and attempting to craft a narrative that would stretch into the next game between the two NL Central rivals.

Of course, the Milwaukee Brewers never mentioned anything about the celebrations. Some of the Reds’ veteran players reportedly pulled Chapman to the side and had a long chat about professionalism at the big league level, but the Milwaukee Brewers remained quiet.

As they should. And in no way should the Brewers retaliate or react on Wednesday.

Milwaukee gained a reputation for their unsavory celebrations. Whether it be untucking the jersey following a victory, the Prince Fielder bowling ball celebration in San Francisco, or Beast Mode on the basepaths, the Brewers have engaged in their fair share of celebrations on the baseball field. None were meant to disrespect the opponent. The celebrations served as a galvanizing force for the squad — a way to build camaraderie and a close-knit clubhouse.

Similarly, Chapman was not attempting to disrespect the Brewers. He was coming off back-to-back blown saves for the first time in his career. Some writers and fans in Cincinnati began to doubt whether or not he possessed the “closer’s mentality” and could succeed in the position — which is insane because he did not allow a single run on the season until June 7. The double somersault celebration was an outpouring of emotion based on his personal situation. He was pleased to have gotten the monkey off his back and returned to his scoreless ways. He was not directing the celebration at Milwaukee whatsoever.

The Brewers are no stranger to on-the-field celebrations that have raised the collective brow of the baseball community. It would be exceedingly hypocritical for the organization to have defended their celebrations over the past three or four seasons and immediately condemn an opponent’s celebration. That’s why it was encouraging to see the Brewers remain quiet, while the baseball blogosphere and Twitter immediately complained, and that’s why Zack Greinke should do absolutely nothing but throw a strike with his first pitch on Wednesday afternoon.

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. nick says: June 27, 2012

    that other brewers team was a different team so it wouldnt be hypocritical…..write a better article please.

    • Bob says: June 27, 2012

      I’m fairly certain I saw Ryan Braun, Ricky Weeks, Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, et al. doing Beast Mode last year.

  2. Chris says: June 27, 2012

    The reason they need to dot someone this afternoon is not solely about Chapman’s antics. In a broader sense, it is because their pitchers have a reputation of not pitching inside and not retaliating. They strikeout a lot of guys, but teams aren’t afraid to dig in against them because they know the Crew won’t knock them off the plate. Being in the strike zone consistently is a good thing. Being there too consistently, without coming inside periodically, is not.

    In the same way, other teams seem to work inside regularly against Milwaukee because they know there will be no repercussions for a mistake should they nail someone.

    So today provides an excellent opportunity for the Brewers to make a statement that they, too, observe the unwritten rules and that it is not a one-way street for the opposition.

    Hypocritical? Perhaps. But that didn’t stop SF or STL from making their point against the Brewers when they thought they were being shown up. Those teams have had some of the biggest swinging dicks in recent memory, yet when they thought someone else was buzzing their tower, they made a statement.

    • Nicholas Zettel says: June 27, 2012

      This is interesting — I was thinking that in the grand scheme of things, Brewers pitchers do seem to have that reputation. And, if only for the sake of keeping batters slightly less comfortable, working aggressively inside is not a bad strategy for any pitcher.

      As for retaliating celebrations, I just don’t get it — baseball is nothing more than entertainment. These guys make huge money because fans buy tickets, merchandise, and special TV and radio packages, etc., and they can’t do somersaults or celebrate or whatever?

      People are way too uppity about baseball’s “special status;” it’s been a source of entertainment from the earliest days (fans actively betting with players hardly suggests divine or special origins for baseball, for instance), through the Negro Leagues, Rabbit Maranville, Babe Ruth, the Gashouse Gang, etc.

      Let these guys celebrate — we’re watching for the sake of entertainment and to have fun. As soon as we lose that, baseball is pointless.

      • KRIS says: June 27, 2012

        People are way too uppity about baseball’s “special status;”

        This is so true. The people who get all up in arms about a save celebration and start posting like mad on twitter need to get a life. The unwritten rules of baseball and the amount of weight people assign to them is ridiculous sometimes. It’s entertainment and it’s supposed to be fun.

    • Nicholas Zettel says: June 27, 2012

      (Sorry Chris, that last rant was not meant to be directed at you. I am being lazy and consolidating comments today)

  3. Zekiel says: June 27, 2012

    “A team should not steal a base when up by five runs in the ninth inning.”

    This is the dumbest rule I’ve ever heard of. First of all, if you are killing the other team, you don’t need to make them feel better about it. Steal the base.
    I mean, how stupid would a team feel to NOT steal a base when they could have and then watch the other team rally back for 6 runs in the 9th? Granted, that’s not going to happen often by why on Earth do you EVER take your foot off the gas? These are all big boys and they can handle taking a loss. Stealing a bag isn’t going to make a difference nor would I see that as throwing salt in a wound. You are on the FIELD to WIN. And if you can continue to run up the score, you are actually doing the other team a favor by showing them all the things in THAT game that they did wrong.
    Maybe the other team will LEARN something from defeat.

  4. Dan says: June 27, 2012

    I think think that the Brewers need to plunk the leadoff batter today. I understand the Brewers like to celebrate. But they have typically seen “retaliation” for it as well. But I also think that the idea that baseball has to be played in this emotionless void is idiotic and outdated.

    The thing that annoys me the most is the double standard. Pitches, closers in particular, get to act like bassoons out there: Shouting, screaming, fist pumps, dropping to their knees after a save. How is that not showing up the batter? And they never see retaliation because the starters don’t pitch the next day and the relievers don’t see an at bat. But if a batter shows emotion after a big hit the next guy gets hit.

    I do agree with the entire “Brewers pitchers need to come inside and show they aren’t pushovers” thing.

    To sum up: I think the retaliation thing is stupid and the idea the game should be emotionless is stupid, but if that’s how it is The Crew needs to get with the game. :(

  5. James says: June 27, 2012

    If you don’t like a team celebrating, step your game up and make sure the other team has nothing to celebrate about. Otherwise stop your complaining and beat them the next game. Unless the team your playing is the Cardinals then you bean the first batter because they will do it to yours.

  6. cj says: June 27, 2012

    Prince Fielder’s bowling ball celebration was at Miller Park. If they did that at San Fran that would be something entirely different; nonetheless, San Fran did not have a legitimate beef thus minimal fan support to their side of the argument (perhaps even evidenced by Zito’s 70mph bean to Prince in spring training last year).

    Either way, worry about winning the game and not what someone does after you already blew your chance(s) to win.

  7. Rob says: June 27, 2012

    I have one issue that hasn’t been mentioned. Chapman’s “celebration” was a singular, look-at-me moment while most celebrations are very team oriented. Even the “Beast Mode” business (which went too far, in my opinion) from last year was shared between the guy on base and the guys in the dugout. Right or wrong, team celebrations have been tolerated in baseball, but individual celebrations have been frowned upon. Some guys get away with a little extra solo celebration, but not double sommersaults. I would just like to see the Brewers retaliate to something, if not just to show they still care.

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