Nick Swisher pitched the 8th inning yesterday, and struck out Gabe Kapler while surviving the inning without allowing a run. He also smiled while on the mound, and saved the ball that he used to strike out Kapler. Apparently he broke some of the Unwritten Commandments of MLB, where fun is not allowed and honor and respect always rule the day.
Jorge Posada was not amused, stating that:
“No one was laughing,” he said when asked about Swisher’s performance. “Today was embarrassing.”
That was obvious. The question is whether it was revealing of what lies ahead for the Yankees. They wanted to send a message to the defending AL champs that life in their division would return to normal this year, and instead they were trailing 9-0 after two innings, not only getting mugged but looking outclassed in every way.
(I added that second sentence to show how badly John Harper overreacted to yesterday’s loss). Posada, on the other hand, was justified in his displeasure, as the team got rocked and it is within his rights to expect people to react as he does to losses. That being said, I doubt Swish asked to pitch, and just took one for the team. When he actually succeeded on the mound, it was perfectly reasonable for him to be a bit excited.
Conversely, people like Michael Kay and Peter Gammons need to lighten up. I do not have direct quotes because they said these things on the air, but I will try and paraphrase. Kay said that it was an embarrassing day for the Yankees, and that Swisher was showing up the Rays and Kapler by saving the ball. Considering that the Rays announcers did not share that sentiment, I doubt that the Rays took any umbrage with Swisher being on the hill. Gammons added some drivel about Kapler being twice as respected inside baseball than Swisher, as if that had anything to do with last night’s events. The media needs to lighten up. Ultimately, these guys play a children’s game, and it is alright to laugh a bit in a 15-5 game with an outfielder pitching. Fans hate to see players laughing during losses, because they want the players to be as devastated as they are. However, in a situation like last night, where the fans were laughing as well, let the players yuk it up. It is nice to see that they still enjoy the game.
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