The Yankees and Athletics played a 14 inning game on Saturday. It was kind of a wild one. But Eric Chavez wanted the A’s to know that their enthusiasm, excitement and general tomfoolery was out of line:
After Saturday’s 10-9 Yankee win, Chavez told the Post’s Joel Sherman that following each of Oakland’s three homers in the 13th inning, he saw the majority of the team’s bench doing “an orchestrated clapping, chanting” celebration. Chavez labeled it “high school-ish” and “pretty unprofessional,” while also saying, “I am all for having fun, but that crossed the line.”
I didn’t see it so I guess it’s possible it went sorta crazy, but in a world where every year a team comes up with some new totally-contrived thing like Antler Claws or Beast Mode or — shudder, getting pies in the face! — or whatever, I think some clapping and jumping around in a dugout after a home run is gonna be OK. Especially for a young team that is doing stuff that no one thought it was supposed to be doing.
And I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that a 24 year-old Eric Chavez got a little excited during that mega winning streak the Moneyball A’s went on in late 2002.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.