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DaSteelerz

Is Bryce Harper's take on baseball slightly true?

What do you think  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Status of Baseball

    • Baseball players should be more expressive
      12
    • Baseball is fine the way it is
      6


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In a recent ESPN The Magazine feature, Harper called baseball a "tired sport" because players can't express themselves without getting the third degree. From the feature:

"Baseball's tired," he says. "It's a tired sport, because you can't express yourself. You can't do what people in other sports do. I'm not saying baseball is, you know, boring or anything like that, but it's the excitement of the young guys who are coming into the game now who have flair. If that's Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom or Manny Machado or Joc Pederson or Andrew McCutchen or Yasiel Puig -- there's so many guys in the game now who are so much fun.

"Jose Fernandez is a great example. Jose Fernandez will strike you out and stare you down into the dugout and pump his fist. And if you hit a homer and pimp it? He doesn't care. Because you got him. That's part of the game. It's not the old feeling -- hoorah ... if you pimp a homer, I'm going to hit you right in the teeth. No. If a guy pimps a homer for a game-winning shot ... I mean -- sorry."

 

Entire article here:
http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/14935765/washington-nationals-bryce-harper-wants-change-baseball-forever

 

So does the game lack expression? Do you have a problem with a little more celebrating? I respect baseball for professionalism. But I also tire of the baseball purists who complain about a bat flip when Babe Ruth was the dude calling shots to the fences before puttin' it where he said it would go. Nobody forgot that. It was incredible. Legends of time.  Do we need to somewhat loosen the belt on this purist attitude and allow for more fun? I say let em play - but I don't wanna see touchdown dances. B)

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Yes...let them play.

I am sick and tired of the old guard complaining about the "good old days". They need to realize that no one, especially the youth, care about their ancient take on how the game should be played.

When Bautista made that epic bat flip against the Rangers, that was a spectacular moment for baseball and showcased how emotional and special the playoffs really are. One must be completely senile and out of touch to complain about such an occasion.

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I really enjoy players who have a passion for the sport they represent and really don't mind when they get a little "colorful" for a three pointer, or a pick six. The area of concern which all of us are fully aware of, is that of taunting.  We've seen players lose their composure with hard fouls in basketball, high sticking in hockey and unnecessary roughness in football. The difference? I'm a pitcher and have been clocked at 99mph with my fastball....you dis me, and I can directly put your career in jeopardy.  "Why did you eject me? The pitch simply got away from me."  We've seen things get chippy on all playing fields, but the stakes are a little different when you bat behind the guy who just raked one and did his "routine" as he circled the bases.  The "No love lost," between teams and rivalries for all the wrong reasons could increase. 

Then there's the committee on baseball celebrations. Who sits on this baseball board of directors? Do we get the old guard or some of the more flamboyant players?  This is a great top DS, and I hope a lot of us chime in on this, especially with the changes we now see in sliding. Is hitting a batter after the previous one hit a home run grounds for immediate ejection or suspension?  We'll see! :)  Will the fans now go to watch baseball or the potential for some extra- curricular activity because Pitcher X is hurling today?

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this is a sport and should be fun.  emotions run high and shouldn't be censored because someone's going to get their feelings hurt.  if you're competing in a spectator sport in front of thousands of people at the top level, you need to have thicker skin.  if you can't handle the pressure, you can always find something else to do. if rules aren't written, they aren't rules.  it's nothing more than traditionalists wanting to protect the status quo because they think it's the righteous thing to do, by allowing them to be selective  to use whenever it's convenient.  when teams win the pennant or WS, is it offensive to celebrate?  when they walk off, is it not ok to celebrate?  if a guy throws a ball at a batter's head, it's just fine because he's invoking unwritten rules, but if you charge the mound with a bat, it's assault.  unwritten rules are just asinine by nature.

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Yeah, I pretty much agree with him. I wouldn't want baseball to turn into the NFL, where players will do a ridiculous dance to celebrate a sack when their team is down 35 in the fourth quarter.

Loved the Bautista bat flip. But if his team was down 7-1 on the road and 10 games below .500, yeah, toss one in on him.

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Bautista's moment in the playoffs was special; the playoffs, THAT crowd, everything on the line. It was a very intense moment. I don't think he was doing that to show up the pitcher, but rather, to release exhilaration from coming up huge when his team needed him most. I have absolutely no problem with that. It was awesome to watch.

It's when guys start taunting opposing players or do some ritualized dance to pander to the audience that gets annoying. Everyone's "selling their brand" in sports these days. Aaron Rodger making TV spots out of his championship belt taunt. Colin Kaepernick legitimately copyrighting the term "Kaepernicking". They're not spontaneously doing these out of exuberance; they're meticulously planning it in order to get endorsement deals. Pretty lame. If I want to watch some narcissist beat their chest and sell me merchandise I'll watch pro wrestling(and I do...it's great!).

The "unwritten rules" thing is in place to keep some of the egomaniacal behavior at bay because....NO ONE LIKES THE GUY THAT SKATES BACKWARDS AT THE ROLLER RINK! I digress...

Does it get tiring to hear traditionalists preach the unwritten rule as gospel? Sure. It's like your grandpa telling you not to do something. You still want to do it. Maybe you want to do it more so now out of defiance. I think that's where the Harper interview comes in to play. A young guy who plays with fire getting told to cool his jets because it's not the prototypical old timey baseball way. He's lashing out now and trying to break the prototype. Goose Gossage is just being an old crow. Nothing to see here...

I will say this. I always cringe when I watch an interview with a young player and you can tell they're making a concerted effort to hit buzz phrases like "playing the game the right way" or "play with humility". It's like they're reciting lines that they've memorized from the unwritten book of baseball cliches. Yuck.

The 2015 revision to the unwritten rule should just be "Have fun but don't be a d**k about it." 

 

 

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Well first off, after watching Bryce Harper from a distance for these last few years, I consider him a big douchebag.  Again, you know how appearances can be.  Look, no one is doubting his skill.  But what he is promoting can lead to all kinds of problems.  What happens when a bat flip hits a catcher?  What happens when a player doesn't like how the pitcher is staring him down. What happens when one of the IF's dislikes how a player is jawing at them or his pitcher when he's circling the bases?  I think what Harper is promoting can set up all kinds of problems.  Additionally, it then sets a bad precedent for the lower levels and especially the kids.  I think that Harper is promoting this largely because he wants to act this way more openly without getting fined or further demonized by his peers. Unleash Harper, and how many more of his teammates and opponents will want to choke him out? Sorry, but I can't take a guy seriously who acts the way he does with the media and carries himself the way he does about this point.  And I especially can't take him seriously when trying to make his point by using the word "pimp" 3 times in the same paragraph!

I'm just not ready for Bryce Harper to lead the way.

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"Pimp it" is actually a part of baseball terminology now. I've heard it all the way from little league to the college level. Just another word for a bat flip. Its not like this is something only Bryce Harper says.

In fact it's not even something that's recent. I remember years ago playing middle school ball and our coach told us to "Pimp our walks". Its more of a swagger than a disrespect.

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Lol, yeah I think your defense of "It's gonna make these guys get angry" is just some grown-ups who need a better attitude.. A bat flip hits a catcher? I just can't buy too much into the slippery slope argument for this one. I don't love Harper but he makes a point here. And let's not forget the "WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS" argument. Less kids are playing baseball! Let them have fun. Let them find their hero. Kids don't care about your ERA or your batting average. They want damn near dudes with capes that make heroic plays. The MLB should be finding ways to get these kids into it. I don't mean sell the sport out, but it needs pizazz.. times have changed.

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there's more risk to a fastball hitting a guy in the head than a bat flip is going to do anything to a catcher covered in protective gear.

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But "pimp it" isn't a term used by the general public in reference to baseball, so the general public wouldn't get that at all.  It only makes it sound like baseball is stepping into the hip hop attitude/presentation that the NBA fell into.  So maybe it's "office talk" amongst the players, but everyday, ordinary people wouldn't relate.  But it's going to go the direction it's going to go no matter what we say.  So, I guess we'll see what trend prevails and then we can have the same discussion in 5-7 years about the state of baseball and how much it's enhanced or how much it's dumbed-down. 

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Like most things, to me, the best solution lies somewhere in the middle.

Emotions are part of every sport, and as long as you don't exagerate in your celebrations, they should be accepted. Hitting a Home-Run is incredibly hard, and you shouldn't be expected to just keep your head down and go about your life like nothing happened. If you score a goal in Hockey, you are allowed to celebrate.

Maybe this was how things were in the old days, but the old days were hardly and example about many other things. Integration is one. I'm not comparing both things, just saying that things change and so does our understanding of them.

Goose Gossage recently went crazy on this subject. I can understand where he came from. To me, as long as you act professional and don't disrespect your opponents, celebrate away.

In Jiu-Jitsu there are rules in place that clearly state that you can neither celebreate too much nor leave the mat until the referee has raised the winner's arm. World Championships were lost because over-celebration. These rules have been a matter of discussion over the years, but I very much agree with them. Be happy all you want, just don't disrespect the sport or your opponent.
In my particular case I don't celebrate too much after victories, but I have punched the floor like a madman after loosing one time - right afterwards, still on the mat, I apologized to the referee and to my opponent (both friends of mine), I was just mad at myself for screwing up. Nobody batted an eye - emotion is a part of every sport.
 

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this whole concept of showboating always makes me think of this one scene in baseketball

 

 

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gossage's remarks just remind me of bitter old men who only want things their way.  anyone who's played any sport knows all the showboating and smack that takes place on the field or court.  baseball is simply behind the times.  it's a double standard to protect an old way of thinking as the only way of thinking.  you can't show any excitement.  but if you do anything that irritates the pitcher, you can bet you're getting beaned.  last year, jered weaver plunked kyle seager because he didn't like how long he took to get in the batter's box.  pitchers get away with crap like that because they don't have to answer to anyone.  it's petty crap like that i can't stand in this game, and it's all in the name of the unwritten rules. remember the cuban guy that charged the mound with a bat?  yeah he got banned. remember what happened every time a pitcher decided to hit a guy with a 95 mph fastball on purpose?  yeah, a slap on the wrist at best.  those antics are bush league. as far as i'm concerned, if they're going to allow pitchers to do that, then they should let the batter police himself until it's over.  if they can't handle what happens, they need to get rid of these petty unwritten rules.

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