Rozner: Chicago White Sox, Anderson stumble into MLB morass

  • Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson, right, celebrates after hitting a two-run home run as Kansas City Royals catcher Martin Maldonado looks to the field during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

    Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson, right, celebrates after hitting a two-run home run as Kansas City Royals catcher Martin Maldonado looks to the field during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

Updated 4/21/2019 6:43 PM

Not a chance.

That was the answer given here by a Hall of Famer when asked if he would discuss publicly the latest bat-flip insanity.


That's what it is, after all. Insanity, in the wake of the Tim Anderson drama a few days ago.

There are those who think the throwing of the bat to be more exciting than the home run that preceded it. Think about that for a moment, and then avoid the temptation to slam your face into an open door.

Seems more thrilling for media than actual baseball fans, but ya know, whatever makes you happy.

And there are those who think it disrespectful to the opponent. What's amazing about that is those who believe it insolent are indeed allowed to think that.

Just because you yell louder or type in all caps on Twitter doesn't mean you get to tell them they are not allowed such a feeling.

Call them old and stupid if it makes you feel better, but ex-players are allowed to have a thought about a game they played.

But with the mob out in full force, even a beloved Hall of Famer -- a minority, by the way -- wanted no part of explaining why he thinks it's disrespectful.

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"I'll be destroyed," he said. "What's the point?"

He's right. There's no point. The mob rules. This applies to all public discussions in the 21st century. Scream loud and listen only to those who agree with your position.

That accomplishes much.

Joe Maddon probably found that out the last couple days after saying Friday that he's not a fan of such displays.

"I would prefer our guys didn't do that," Maddon said. "The younger group right now doesn't need to see demonstrations like that in order to feel like they can watch baseball, or that baseball is more interesting because somebody bat-flips really well."

Maddon offers his view knowing full well he has players on his club that are prone to such displays.

"I would prefer kids watch baseball because it's a very interesting game, intellectually stimulating and when played properly, never too long," Maddon said. "I prefer kids learn that method as opposed to being enamored with our game based on histrionics, but it seems to be that we are catering to that a bit."

Catering is an understatement.

Commissioner Rob Manfred decides policy based on media reaction, and so desperate is Manfred to convince media that baseball is cool, that MLB Twitter posted this: "Keep doing your thing, @TimAnderson7. #LetTheKidsPlay."


Taking sides against another MLB player is unusual, but the league is determined to promote a circus over the sport, believing this will actually sell tickets.

The entire conversation -- argument? -- is absurd, and will continue to be so.

Anderson was not trying to show up anyone. He's an excitable guy showing genuine excitement. To know him is to understand this, but there's no way for Royals pitcher Brad Keller to know this.

And just because he didn't mean to show up Keller doesn't mean he didn't show up Keller.

The winner feels what he feels, as Anderson did in blasting a home run, and the loser feels what he feels, as Keller did in giving up the home run.

If that's hard for some to understand, it's likely they never played a sport, never won and lost, never failed to control their emotions when confronted with success and failure.

There's plenty of room for both. We want players to care about their jobs.

Ted Lilly fired his glove down on the mound after giving up a Chris Young home run in the 2007 postseason and was buried for it.

Is that any different from Anderson firing a bat out of excitement?

Really, while dictating policy, the literati should let us know what displays of emotion are acceptable on a baseball field.

There are 750 players from many different countries and many more different backgrounds.

What one person sees as disrespect is another player from a very different upbringing letting you know he's happy at work.

A reasonable person would probably see the Anderson toss as over the top, especially given the modest circumstances and that it wasn't exactly Game 7 of the World Series, but reason is forever in the eye of the beholder.

Whatever your take, don't bring this up at family gatherings, at the bar or in the work cafeteria.

You would be better served talking politics.

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