Intentionally Hitting Batters and Cheering for It Is Unacceptable
But intentionally hitting a batter is wrong.
In the Nats’ recent road trip to Atlanta, Bryce Harper was hit twice by a pitch (and fans threatened to throw waffles at him from the stands) because he supposedly slowly trotted around the bases after a home run the last time they met. Bryce got hit intentionally in that game in Washington too. That’s a terrible thing to do, and it can seriously hurt a batter. It can land him on the DL or ruin the career he worked so hard for. (That is the example of Tony Conigliaro, who was out for a year after being beaned in the head– not too far from where Avilan hit Bryce Harper in the shoulder). What was even worse was when the Braves fans stood and clapped for the pitcher who did it, Luis Avilan. That is terrible sportsmanship by the Braves fans. But these are the same fans that thre garbage all over their field in the 2012 Wild Card game when the umps made the infield fly rule call against them. (It’s also true that Stephen Strasburg hit Justin Upton with a 97 mph fastball. I’m not saying that was right either).
It’s becoming the 1910’s again, and that is not how baseball should be played in the 2010’s. Baseball has changed in 100 years. Babe Ruth has died. So has Lou Gehrig. Ty Cobb has, too. Jackie Robinson got spiked with opposing players’ cleats because he had a different skin color. This should be about having fun and not purposefully hurting players on other teams. It is bad sportsmanship for the players to do it and bad sportsmanship for the fan to cheer for it.
A day after Bryce was hit in Atlanta, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster intentionally threw at A-Rod because of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and the fact that people don’t like A-Rod because they think he took banned drugs. A-Rod didn’t fight back, but he did hit a homer later in the game off Dempster that sparked the game-winning rally. (Kind of how Bryce stole home in his rookie season after he was hit by Cole Hamels).
Drilling people on purpose is maybe the worst thing that can happen to you in all sports. Imagine standing 60 feet away from someone and throwing a baseball at them as hard as you can. It would really hurt that person. And I bet that every major league pitcher can throw at least 20 mph faster than you.
If you’re a fan, you should root for your team to win and maybe be like A-Rod hitting the HR or Bryce stealing home, not fighting back or hurting the pitcher back. It’s about having good sportsmanship.
NATIONALS @ CUBS
DAN HAREN (7-11, 4.79 ERA) VS. CHRIS RUSIN (2-2, 3.06 ERA)
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