Francisco Lindor hit a homer in the Twins-Indians game down in Puerto Rico yesterday. It was a big moment for Lindor, a Puerto Rico native, on a night when the fans at Hiram Bithorn stadium were primed to celebrate something, anything, after months and months of recovery from Hurricane Maria.
So, quite predictably, the crowd went absolutely bonkers when Lindor jacked his jack. Heck, they went nuts when he simply flew out to deep left center in the first inning, so you knew they’d love the bomb. Lindor, clearly pumped himself, celebrated jubilantly as he rounded the bases, gesturing to the crowd, chest pumping, curtain calling and all of that:
After the game, Lindor said this to the press:
Lindor said he loves the game, respects the game and did not try to disrespect Twins. He apologized if he offended anyone while celebrating his home run on the bases. #PuertoRicoSeries
In the wake of that tweet I saw a lot of people saying, in effect, “Oh my God, the Twins are the fun police!” but it should be noted that, as far as I can tell, no one on the Twins complained about Lindor’s response to the homer. I’ve read through multiple game stories and searched Twitter and Facebook and Googled everything I can Google since the end of the game and there is no suggestion I can find, anywhere, that anyone with the Twins took issue with it. Just figured that should be noted loud and clear, especially given the “unwritten rules” dustup that surrounded the Twins’ taking issue with a bunt single earlier this season.
All of that said, the fact that Lindor felt the need to apologize like that and make it clear that he respects the game shows just how deeply ingrained the idea of “playing the game the right way” and not showing genuine emotion continues to control the actions of ballplayers. Real power doesn’t need to show itself being exercised. It causes people to alter their behavior preemptively.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, supplied by Nike that, last I checked, was not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters does not impress the powers that be nearly as much.