I figured the Bautista slide thing would’ve died down by now but then we get this gem of a column from Boston’s Tony Massarotti. It’s a gem because it doubles and triples down on all of the bad opinions you’ve seen about toughness and rules designed to prevent injuries and the alleged “wussification of America,” which Massarotti says with no irony whatsoever in his lede, with an extra point for a backdoor “baseball is dying” reference:
I said it before, I’ll say it now and I’ll say it forever: baseball’s new rule regarding slides at second base was and is a childish overreaction. It’s yet another example of the wussification of America and what was, once, our national pastime.
He goes on to complain that the new sliding rules have “effectively neutered baserunners like Bautista from attempting to do something every major league player has been taught to do.” Massarotti does not understand, it seems, that the point of a new rule is, by definition, to alter behavior, so being mad that it’s altering behavior is really dumb. Bonus point for the “neutering” reference which further underscores the misguided macho baloney informing his take here. If you don’t play the game Tony Massarotti would have you play it, you literally have no balls.
He goes on to pretend to care about injuries in sports, but says hey, that’s not important when games really matter because “that’s when legacies are forged.” Breaking bones is not a problem for Massarotti as long as it comes with a nice narrative. Also, if you’re an otherworld talent like Buster Posey, you shouldn’t even care about a compound fracture because, look, you put up nice numbers after you came back!
Know what Posey has done since his “horrific” injury? He’s hit .315 with an .870 OPS. The Giants have won two more World titles. And Posey has signed a nine-year, $167 million contract through at least 2021 that is fully guaranteed.
Frankly, Posey should THANK Scott Cousins, I guess.
This is all ridiculousness. The new rules imposed were questionable in their conception — I agree with Massarotti that much — but they are rules. They can be and should be followed unless and until they are repealed. No appeal to whatever garbage Massarotti believes qualifies as masculinity or tradition is relevant here. And his headline reference to “sissies” is beyond odious. An entire column which could pass as a schoolyard taunt from an insecure wannabe tough guy was kicked off with a literal schoolyard taunt.
Cram this article, Tony. It provides no insight and reinforces a heaping helping of bad ideas and misguided ideas about machismo and sports that are better left in the past.