Tom Gage of Fox Sports Detroit talks about something fun that happened in a game yesterday: Rajai Davis was joking with his friend, Phillies outfielder Ben Revere, before the game. Davis said that he needed some hits, so Revere shouldn’t try too hard if Davis hits one to the outfield. Later in the game, Revere robbed Davis of a homer and then there was a lot more smiling, laughing and friendly taunting. Fun, yes?
Well, maybe it’s problematic to some. As Gage notes, such “fraternization” was, at one time, something players avoided and something which you’d rarely see. You see it a lot more now. This sometimes bugs old school baseball types — Joe Torre famously lamented it a couple of years ago — and, even if Gage is OK with it now, he admits that it has taken him time to become OK with it.
Among players, however, this is hardly even a consideration anymore. Sure, there are intense pitcher-batter interactions and sometimes teams get chippy with one another based on specific incidents, but they’re pretty rare. Pitchers and batters may always speak different languages to some degree anyway. For the most part, though, players have crossed paths in the past and like their fellow major leaguers. It’s so common that baseball is considering axing the rule on the books that bans fraternization. Yes, such a rule actually still exists.
Whatever the custom or rule is, I have a hard time getting on board with any mindset which holds that it’s not right to be friendly with people. At least absent serious reason. Being friendly is a good thing. It can make life more enjoyable. More people should actually try it.