Fernando Tatis Jr. is one of the best young superstars in Major League Baseball, and Monday night, he had to apologize for hitting a grand slam. How soft is that?
Tatis Jr. is taking the league by storm. He is one of the most electrifying talents that baseball has seen in a long time, and he is only 21 years old. Baseball fans, and Major League Baseball as a whole, need to be embracing and marketing Tatis Jr. like no other. But what happens instead? The “unwritten rules” of baseball are making him apologize for being too good.
Monday night, the Padres were playing the Rangers on the road in Texas. Tatis Jr. went yard early in the game. Later, with the Padres up 10-3 in the 8th inning, Tatis Jr. came to the plate with the bases loaded. Rangers pitcher Juan Nicasio had gone to a 3-0 count on three straight batters, walking two of them. The count got to 3-0 on Tatis Jr. He did not want to walk.
Tatis Jr. belted the 3-0 pitch over the right field seats for a grand slam. With the homer, he passed Mike Trout for the MLB lead in home runs. He finished the night 2 for 5 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. His big night resulted in him taking the MLB lead in home runs, RBI’s, and runs. Here is the 3-0 grand slam:
Following the 3-0 slam, Nicasio was replaced by Ian Gibaut. His first pitch was a 93 mph fastball behind Manny Machado.
The Rangers seemed to not like Tatis Jr. swinging 3-0 when up by seven in the 8th inning.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters after the game that Tatis Jr. had broken one of baseball’s “unwritten rules.”
According to CBS Sports, Woodward stated, “There’s a lot of unwritten rules that are constantly being challenged in today’s game. I didn’t like it, personally. You’re up by seven in the eighth inning; it’s typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right. I don’t think we liked it as a group.”
So to recap, the Rangers are getting pummeled 10-3, they walk two batters to load the bases, get behind 3-0 on four straight batters, throw a meatball right down the middle and give up a grand slam, are now down 14-3, but the “unwritten rules” say it’s not their fault. Tatis Jr. should not have swung 3-0. Ok.
I would like to point out: Would it have been a problem if he swung and missed? Would it have been a problem if he swung and grounded into a double play? Doesn’t seem like it. So the problem isn’t necessarily that he swung, but that he launched a grand slam. So you’re upset because he is good?
Then, Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Tatis Jr. missed a take sign on the 3-0 pitch:
I love baseball, but it can be so damn soft sometimes.
This dude is one of the brightest emerging stars in the game, and we are shaming him for hitting a grand slam???
As if this wasn’t already way out of hand, Tatis Jr. apologized for it. Not kidding:
Fernando: Do not ever apologize for being better at baseball than everyone else.
Also, how does Jayce Tingler just throw Tatis Jr. under the bus like that? He is his manager. Shouldn’t the manager have the kids back? He is 21 years old and is the main reason your team is relevant and winning, and you would rather him take a strike than hit a grand slam?
I just don’t get it. This is the same way I view the whole bat-flip saga as well. If you don’t want to see a guy flip his bat after hitting a 450 ft home run off of you, then be a better pitcher and don’t let him hit a 450 ft home run off you! Seems pretty simple to me. These guys work so hard their whole lives to get to the majors, and then when they succeed, they should be able to celebrate.
Furthermore, every at-bat and every pitch matters. No matter what the score is, no matter what the inning is, no matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie. These guys’ livelihoods depend on their performance. Every hit, every RBI, every HR, every strikeout, every win and every loss matters.
I don’t think that baseball should be enforcing these “unwritten rules” so strictly. There are already too many rules. As long as you are not cheating the game or hurting anyone, I don’t see any problem with breaking the “unwritten rules.” Have a little fun.