GQ’s Keith Olbermann was watching some baseball on Tuesday night, specifically the Giants-Rockies game. He observed first baseman Mark Reynolds tipping an open bag into his mouth — sunflower seeds — and tweeted about it. The Rockies zinged him pretty good in response.
Everyone had a quick laugh at his expense, and the whole thing was forgotten until Olbermann decided this was a hill upon which to die on Thursday.
There’s no rule against players eating on the field. We’ve been given great moments like this as a result:
For a long, long time, players using chewing tobacco was as much a part of the game as the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass. Sunflower seeds, too, to a lesser extent. As we learned more about the dangers of tobacco, its use waned and players started chewing gum and eating sunflower seeds more. If you ask me, that’s a good thing.
Not to Olbermann. I’m not sure I get why this is even an issue. Who is hurt by players eating sunflower seeds on the field? The salt on the seeds is bad for birds, but I doubt Olbermann is arguing from a bird’s rights perspective. And I also doubt he’s starting this crusade on the behalf of stadium workers who have to clean up discarded sunflower seed shells.
At any rate, I’m not sure the Rockies’ lack of postseason success from 2008-16 can be tied to Mark Reynolds’ on-field sunflower seed habit in 2017.