Joe Girardi would like Carlos Gomez to “play the game right”

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Great moments in Playing the Game the Right Way. During and after last night’s shellacking at the hands of the Astros, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and catcher John Ryan Murphy suggested that Carlos Gomez do just that after Gomez got mad at himself for popping up a pitch.

Girardi:

“I just told him, ‘Play the game the right way. They’re kicking our rear ends. Show a little professionalism to the pitcher. I know you missed a pitch and are frustrated by it, but I just think it’s a little too much.”

Murphy:

“I don’t think there’s any place for that, especially in a 9-0 game,” Murphy said. “He’s an energetic guy. Everybody knows that. We respect him as a baseball player, just, there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game.”

Gomez being Gomez should not, at this point, be the cause of consternation. But heck, even if it wasn’t Gomez, I still don’t understand the rules about when it’s OK or not OK to be mad at themselves for not doing what they planned. Pitchers have, for years, yelled at the top of their lungs, gestured wildly, sunk to their knees, shouted into their gloves and any number of other things when they’ve given up a homer or failed to make the pitch they want. No one ever says boo to that.

But if a hitter gets mad at himself for not putting a good swing on a pitch, it’s a crisis of ethics. Madison Bumgarner and Chris Carpenter are famous for taking issue with hitters who are disappointed in themselves. The Yankees entire bench last night did too. It makes zero sense.

Play your own damn game. Let Carlos Gomez play his.

 

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on as precedent. And, it should be noted, in doing so they gave at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?