The Giants and Brewers were tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th. Prince Fielder was at the dish, and then this scene ensued:
As if the Brewers jersey untucking after wins wasn’t enough of a joke. Listen, I am all for a little bit of cockiness in baseball. Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano certainly do their part, but Prince took it to a whole new level last night. One thing I admire about baseball over any other professional sport is just that, it’s professionalism among their athletes. Sure, we have the never-ending steroid saga, but you rarely hear about players choking their girlfriends/wives, getting arrested for DUIs (insert Tony LaRussa joke here), dog-fighting (I don’t need a link), or any of that other garbage that goes in the NFL. The NBA isn’t very professional either – take a look at Kobe Bryant’s past or this photo of Allen Iverson. The NHL has guys like Sean Avery. Similar stuff happens in baseball, but you definitely don’t hear about it as much – and it doesn’t create month long feature blocks on SportsCenter. I know what Fielder did wasn’t anything as profound as any of the incidents I just referred to, but it’s a clear example of a non-professional. It wouldn’t have made much of a difference to me, but it’s not like the Brewers moved into first place with that win – in fact, they are 11 games out of any playoff contention at all. Had they been in the heat of a pennant race, perhaps Prince’s actions are justified a bit more, to some.
Fielder’s Brewer teammate, Ryan Braun is just as guilty of this stuff, just look at his parade around the bases last September in a game against the Cubs. [Cub fan bias]Someone should have told him Bob Howry was on the mound and that C.C. Sabathia wasn’t gonna be able to pitch every game of the NLDS.[/Cub fan bias] They learned that soon enough anyway, I suppose. Fielder’s antics are reminiscent of an NFL endzone celebration, something that their league is trying to restrict, and certainly, baseball doesn’t need that garbage either. Lets not just dismiss the fact that this isn’t Fielder’s first act of havoc this season. Remember his trip into the Dodgers’ clubhouse after they were blown out in L.A.? Perhaps that is a whole other blog entry though.
So before you tell me that Fielder’s antics were equal to every other act of cockiness in the league, find me another photo in the history of baseball with anything resembling this scene at home plate and I’ll take it all back:
Didn’t think so. Sure, Soriano waves his hand in front of his face (which is really just more stupid than anything else), Zambrano is basically the definition of cocky, but this hurts him more than helps most of the time, and Aramis admires his home runs (him and also Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, and a lot of other great sluggers throughout baseball history), but they don’t do what Fielder did. Some of the Giants players publicly spoke out against the charade, and some Angels players even are speaking out about it. It’s good to know that players of other teams don’t approve. Maybe it’s just immaturity; it’s easy to forget Prince is only in his 3rd full MLB season, so hopefully sooner or lately he’ll learn. Hopefully he deservedly gets one in the backside whenever the Brewers and Giants hook up again – and if he decides to charge the San Francisco clubhouse this time, there’s probably no hope left for him anyway.