When is a celebration too much?
Lots of angst flowing around the interwebs about Yasiel Puig of the L.A. Dodgers and his youthful exuberance and abundant celebrations whenever the Cuban phenom does something special.
The latest came the other night when he kind of posed at home plate after a long drive that ended up a triple – there’s video of it here, I hope -- and just his overall manner is irking some people.
He’s been criticized for showboating, or hot-dogging, or showing up the opposition, or disrespecting the game, or any and all of that.
Now, I think we all know I’m all about understated celebrations for the most part; nothing irks me more than some idiotic over-the-top celebration of some mundane regular season moment that is simply routine.
It’s the “look at me” nature of those things that I find more than a bit off-putting, I’d rather an athlete get up, dust himself off, accept a couple of accolades and get back to business. I supposed you could say I’m more Barry Sanders than Dieon Saunders, I like modesty rather than over antics.
The thing with this Puig one that gets to me is the bat-toss at the start (it’s one thing, perhaps, if it’s some upper-deck moon shot, a ball that doesn’t leave the park is quite another) and the hand-clapping before even getting to third base is a bit much, no?
I suppose the only mitigating factor would be that it was a big at-bat in a big game (there's no score bug in the top of the video for you to figure out but it was a big moment) and that might allow for a higher level of excitement than some dreary Tuesday game in July.
I think it was a bit much, I tend to agree with those being a bit critical, I think there is a way the true greats act when they do something special or extraordinary and it’s not with overt displays of over-the-top emotion.
I understand passion and excitement and the feeling of accomplishment that has to come in those special moments and have no trouble with a discreet arm pump, or a big old smile; I do think the attention-seeking demonstrations are bit much.
Hat tip to Not Grace for this one.
Now, I have best friends with far more musical knowledge than I (did you know the Spanish-influenced Gypsy Kings are actually from the south of France?) but I know what I like.
Speaking of hat tips, My Man Sheridan has one here from his cool web site wherein he makes the case for Canada getting one of the four wild card berths to next year’s basketball World Cup.
I’m still dubious – I’ve got China, an African nation, and either two European countries or one from Europe and Brazil – but I can see the validity of Chris’s argument. The trouble, of course, is that the wild cards are going to be awarded in February, long before a prodigy like Wiggins would, or could, commit to next summer with the national team.
But, as they say, time will tell; I appreciate my guy mentioning the name and you should click on his site all the time, lots of good stuff there.
It’s all well and good that Super Son’s good in school and likes to audition for things but back-to-back 7 a.m. starts and the required drives is, well, not fun. It’s dark out early these days.
Think we’re in for a couple more games – one at least – of mix and match lineups as they kind of struggle to find effective combinations that will allow them to cut down on the turnovers that have plagued them through the first four games.
One of the problems, Dwane was telling us the other day up at Rama, is that because he hasn’t quite settled on who comes in the game when and who plays together, the familiarity necessary for seamless play hasn’t come nearly quickly enough.
It sure looks like the first two guys off the bench are going to be Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin but because there are so many times when there’s two or three starters and two or three second-unit guys together, those hybrids have to play more together to get used to each other, he said.
“We have to kind of mismatch the lineups, get a feel for each other. That’s one reason for some of the turnovers because when we substitute a guy in he hasn’t had an opportunity to play with first team. We have to work on that.”
So maybe that’s what fans look for in the next couple of games while they send messages to the IGBT that make me smile, see who’s out there with who and how it’s working.
Yes, we’re back with an IGBT tonight about 7 and, yes, we will be here for a chat at noon tomorrow and, yes, I need mail so get your butts in gear and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. With no games between tonight and Monday, it’s going to be a full weekend of mail and I need to make it worth our while.
Remember how I’ve said I could watch Justin Verlander pitch every day because it always seems special?
Well, I’d probably get more enjoyment out of it if he won a game here and there.
That one yesterday – the 1-0 Boston win – was as good a 1-0 baseball game as you’d ever want. Maybe there could have been a few incredible defensive plays but all in all, it’s the kind of outstanding post-season game that draws you in and keeps you there.
Tough break for Verlander, though; how many figured he’d at least get off the hook for the loss in the eighth with runners on the corners, one out and Cabrera and Fielder next?
Two strikeouts? That’s the kind of drama you have to love, even if it brought about the wrong results.
But for a somewhat dispassionate observer, it was great theatre and sports drama at its best.