The tater trot tracker is a bit behind as I prepare for my wedding this weekend. Many apologies for that. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up at some point.
But let’s get down to why we’re here today.
Home Run of the Day: Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins – 28.58 seconds [video]
A 21-year-old superstar pitcher hits his first career home run in what has already been announced as his final start of the season. He celebrates the home run with a flourish before trotting around the bases in 28.58 seconds. Apparently this is enough to get the benches cleared in a big league game these days. (Well, if you’re playing against the Braves, at least).
Now there are plenty of fans who will tell you that Fernandez was the instigator here (why else would he apologize after the game?). He threw his bat and watched the homer fly. He spit on the ground as he was rounding third base (and while third baseman Chris Johnson was yelling at him). He got a little frustrated the inning before when a Braves player hit a home run off of him. He breathed out of his right eyelid instead of his left. He once offered a piece of candy to a baby before taking it away. He gave George Lucas the idea for Jar-Jar Binks. It’s all his fault.
The thing is, there may be some truth to blaming Fernandez. If he really was mad at the Gattis home run, then the staring and admiring — of his first big league home run! as a pitcher! who is 21 years old! — was intentional. Showing up the Braves, if you will. To all of that, I saw “who cares?” The Braves, and specifically Chris Johnson, were the ones who started the actual confrontation. Because they were upset. That they were losing. That they gave up a home run. That someone yelled something mean from the stands. That “Man of Steel” wasn’t a better movie. If Johnson doesn’t lose his mind on a meaningless, and really not all that showboating, home run trot, nothing happens.
But ballplayers are children sometimes. They play a game on a field and they forget that they’re adults. It’s no better than a five-year-old hitting his four-year-old brother for playing with the wrong GI Joe when he’s really just mad that he can’t watch television.
It’s called self-control and managing your emotions. Most of us learn it in elementary school. Then again, most of us aren’t professional ballplayers.