04 April 2008
JOBA AND THE PUMP
There has been too much talk this week about Joba Chamberlain and his fist pumping celebration after his strike-out of Frank Thomas.
Most of the noise has been coming from WFAN's "Mike and the Mutt".
Reports say the Thomas had no problem with the episode because, he says, thats how the game is today. Good for Frank.
I have no problems with it for another reason: FAIRNESS.
Look at 3 basics: Hitters hit, pitchers pitch and what's fair is fair.
If Thomas would have hit a HR on that pitch, he most likely would have paused for a moment to observe the ball soaring majestically into the Bronx night.
Nothing would have been said, except for Mutt-Dog profoundly barking that Joba gave up the HR.
Over the years we have seen Reggie watch his famous HR off of the lights in Detroit.
Do we remember Jeff Leonards "one flap down" while circling the bases?
How about Ruben Sierra who would adjust his shirt at the plate before entering his home run trot which included a stutter step at each base?
What about Sammy Sosa's hop and skip with arms extended before beginning his victory lap around the bases?
Then there is Barroid Bonds, who would start his 4 base trek once the ball was safely secured in someones kayak.
This is all good to the media heads, but its not good when a pitcher relishes in his accomplishment.
What is the pitchers' equivalent to watching a home run ball?
Thomas was right, the game has changed.
Wind back to 1968. Lets put Bob Gibson on the mound vs. the 2001 version of Barroid Bonds and Bonds hits a long ball, trotting around the bases only after Jacques Cousteau retrieves the ball from the fathoms on McCovey Cove.
After Barroid's next at bat, you could bet that his uniform would have looked like something out of "Dirty Jobs."
Baseball is not like that today.
If Manny can be Manny, then let Joba be Joba, sounds fair to me.
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