Add Mike Schmidt to the chorus of old school players who didn’t like Jose Bautista‘s bat flip in the playoff’s last year. Today he wrote his own first person story for the Associated Press talking about the blatant disrespect Jose Bautista allegedly showed for the game and his opposition when he hit his big homer in last year’s playoffs:
Why do so many players today feel the need to embellish their success with some sort of hand signal to the dugout? What got more attention in last year’s post-season than a bat toss by Jose Bautista? Pointing to the sky is child’s play compared to that moment in the post-season on national TV. A flagrant disrespect of the opponent like that would have gotten somebody hurt back in the day.
He goes on to say that “Bautista crossed the line.” In other news, here’s Mike Schmidt’s 500th home run.
Watch the slow motion replay near the end in which Schmidt dances. The color man also notes that he jumped onto second base and posed as he rounded third.
Schmidt mentions that little dance in his column, calling it “a little running in place” thing. He says that’s the only time he ever did anything like that. I’ll take him at his word. And I’ll grant that I’d dance like that too if I was Mike Schmidt. In addition to it being a wonderful moment in his career, it came after the Phillies had surrendered a lead to the Pirates the half-inning before and put his club ahead in the ninth inning in a game they ended up winning. That’s a big deal! It came in April in a season the Phillies finished under .500 so it it wasn’t playoffs-big like Bautista’s home run was, but it was definitely the sort of thing one should be excited about. So yes, good for Schmidt. The man was already a legend in 1987 and he had earned the right to strut a bit.
But I’ll also note that Bautista doesn’t make a habit of bat tosses like the one from the playoffs either. Schmidt says it’s OK to do this once in a while if you hit a lot of homers and have earned the right, but I’ll further note that Bautista has hit a lot of home runs himself. Why Schmidt got to be occasionally exuberant like this while Bautista is slammed for it is an open question. I’m sure if he would’ve been given 500 more words by the AP he would’ve explained it better.
Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem
Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwelldid not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.
“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:
Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.
Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.
While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”
Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”
Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.
This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.
Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.
Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.
The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.