Rozner: Great sports theater points the way to another kind of sport online

  • Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy, left, gestures while running up the first base line after hitting a solo home run off of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, right, during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy, left, gestures while running up the first base line after hitting a solo home run off of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, right, during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, June 9, 2019. Associated Press

  • Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, June 9, 2019. Associated Press

 
 

At virtually the same moment Lexi Thompson was sinking an eagle putt Sunday afternoon, Max Muncy sank a ball in McCovey Cove.

The first clutch moment -- on the 18th green -- won Thompson an LPGA tournament, besting Jeongeun Lee6 by a shot, the second week in a row the pair went toe-to-toe on Sunday and providing great theater.

This is, after all, the point of sports, right?

The second was the Dodgers first baseman taking Madison Bumgarner deep in San Francisco, the old-school Bumgarner -- a three-time champ -- furious that Muncy pimped it at home plate.

This was also great theater and once again caused Twitter to lose its collective mind.

Last week, it was Lee6 who captured the U.S. Open, thus providing Hank Haney with a chance to double down on his remarks that were dubbed both racist and sexist by Korean-American Michelle Wie -- and by much of the civilized world -- when he mocked the women golfers by saying he didn't know who was playing or where they were playing, but figured a Korean named Lee would win.

He took great pride in being correct completely by accident, not knowing that as many Koreans -- two -- have won on the PGA Tour in the last five weeks as on the LPGA Tour.

As disturbing as any part of it was the complete disrespect Haney displayed with his comments, from a supposed golf expert on the PGA Tour's Sirius/XM Golf Channel.

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Not only is the 23-year-old Lee6 a spectacular rookie, but she takes the name with a numeral on it because so many women on the Korean LPGA go by the same name.

Is that funny, Hank? Would it be considered funny if the same were said about American male athletes with the same name?

There's no way he could know her story because he doesn't pay attention to the women, that her father was a truck driver and paralyzed in a highway accident when the golfer was four years old, that she turned pro to support her family and that he's rarely able to see her play in person because the logistics are so complicated.

Funny stuff.

But the reaction on social media and via email to a column on the subject was disconcerting as well, with so many deciding that politics and agendas must be at the heart of it.

I have a problem with men who disrespect women. Is that a liberal point of view? I just think it means I have a problem with men who disrespect women.

All conservatives believe you're a liberal, as all liberals believe you're a conservative, just as all Cub fans think you're a White Sox fan and all Sox fans think you're a Cub fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I don't believe in parties or sides, and certainly not in politicians that vote themselves a pay raise while raising our taxes again.

It's strictly case-by-case here.

Take Bumgarner, who Twitter has decided is an old hillbilly not allowed to be angry when he believes someone is disrespecting him.

Hey, maybe you think standing at home plate or flipping the bat is more exciting than the home run itself. Congrats. You're allowed to enjoy baseball any way you want to enjoy the game.

And there's no rule that says Muncy can't stand there and admire his blast.

I always thought it was cool that Andre Dawson -- who hit 438 home runs -- simply dropped the bat, put his head down and ran around the bases.

He did not want to disrespect his opponent. It's what he was taught. It's what he believed. If you think the Hall of Famer a fool for believing that, you're entitled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I respect Bumgarner's right to think he's being mocked, and respect those who treat their opponents with respect. I don't get the fascination with the bat flip or pimping home runs, but it doesn't really bother me. I think the home run itself is more interesting. But that's just me.

Is that a conservative point of view? I just think it means I have a problem with those who can't see Bumgarner's side, that can only see their point of view.

Great country where you can make those decisions for yourself, where you can pick a political party and cheer or hate, if you really believe those you vote for on either side care at all about your life and the way you live paycheck to paycheck.

In any case, it was entertaining Sunday on the field, on the golf course and even on Twitter, to watch the fast and furious reaction to what Muncy did and Bumgarner's response.

Dig in, pick a corner and yell as loud as you can. That's become something of a sport, too.

As for Haney, it's unlikely he was aware of Thompson's back-nine rally from down a pair to win for the 11th time and seventh year in a row.

He doesn't watch women's golf -- and apparently only has thoughts on it when a Korean female wins a tournament.

brozner@dailyherald.com

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