On Thursday morning, Tim Keown of ESPN The Magazine published an intriguing feature on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The article is great for a number of reasons, but one particular quote from Harper made the rounds, as he called baseball “a tired sport” because “you can’t express yourself”, i.e. with bat flips and fist-pumping.
Giants reliever Sergio Romo got wind of his and disagreed. Per Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group, Romo said, “Don’t put your foot in your mouth when you’re the face of the game and you just won the MVP. I’m sorry, but just shut up.”
It’s rich coming from Romo, who is himself very demonstrative on the mound. Here are just a few of a large quantity of pictures in which he is caught celebrating on the mound.
Romo justified his actions, saying, “As emotional and as fiery as I am, I do my best not to look to the other dugout. I look to the ground, I look to my dugout, to the sky, to the stands.” He continued, “I don’t agree that being able to put your hands up when you hit a 500-foot home run or punching somebody out and then staring them down, I’m sorry, it doesn’t add flair to the game. That’s showing up the other guy.”
Romo also offered career advice to Harper. He said, “I’m pretty sure if someone has enough money, he can find another job if this is really tired.”
Even if Romo’s criticism were valid, he’s really not the person who should be offering it. At the very least, it’s a good window into human psychology.
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who famously flipped his bat in the playoffs last year, was the target of some angry criticism from Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. One wonders if the heat Harper and Bautista take for their emotion is more about how talented they are. Hmm.