Joe Maddon doesn’t want his players to “pimp” home runs

42 Comments

Joe Maddon said yesterday that he does not want his Cubs hitters to “pimp” home runs. To stand and admire their shots, gesticulate and emote and all of that:

“It’s act like you’ve done it before and you can do it again,” he said. “The touchdown celebration, all that stuff, pounding your chest after dunking a basketball, all this stuff that’s become part of today’s generation of athletes – whether you agree with it being right or wrong doesn’t matter. I would just prefer that our guys would act like they’ve done it before and that they’re going to do it again.”

I don’t mind a little celebration from time to time as long as it’s not aimed at the other team in a taunting manner. But really, this is a fair stance to have. Especially when you have a young team like Maddon has now.

But it’s probably worth noting that it’s not always the stance that Maddon has had. Remember two years ago when Yunel Escobar was in a little dustup with the Blue Jays after he hit a home run and made a “safe” sign as he crossed home plate. After first voicing his displeasure at Escobar, Maddon reversed himself the next day:

“Some people point to the sky, he shows a safe sign. For me I love the way he is. I want him to remain the way he is. He did nothing wrong. … People that want to say that he did, that’s a fabrication on somebody’s part based on your own personal judgments, period … I’m never going to attempt to subtract from his celebratory manner.”

Also worth noting that Maddon had a closer back in those days who fired invisible arrows into the sky after each save.

My guess: Maddon doesn’t really care for the celebration stuff but, with Tampa Bay, had to be more diplomatic about it because the players who celebrated were veterans and you can’t really win by getting into battles with veterans. Now that he has a younger team, including a lot of young hitters with very little experience, he can be a bit more forward about voicing his displeasure with that stuff.

But really, man: a little flexing never hurt anyone. It can be kind of fun.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

Getty Images
13 Comments

The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?