If you think that headline is terrible, just imagine how hard I struggled to throw a Jesse White Tumblers reference into the mix. Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman is having a very interesting 2012 season. On the field, too. While Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker took umbrage at Chapman’s unusual form for celebration at the end of last night’s 4-3 defeat of Milwaukee, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reminds us that “no one dies doing somersaults.” NOT YET, Jon, not yet.
Considering the Reds’ previously mild reactions to the continuing soap opera surrounding their newsmaking reliever, their rebuke seemed over the top. Perhaps the Reds wanted to make a public statement regarding baseball decorum, especially with another game coming up against the depressed division-rival Brewers. But that doesn’t explain the lack of public responses to the previous episodes, all of which Chapman has managed to squeeze into a first half in which he has often been brilliant on the mound (he was near to unhitable for the first several weeks of thee season).
While celebratory somersaults aren’t something old-school people ordinarily rubber stamp, and the Reds probably have concern the Brewers think as old-school as they do and may counter by throwing at one of their stars (yes, Votto or Bruce), the Reds’ stern reaction to a fun incident was in sharp contrast to how Chapman’s previous, greater indiscretions were handled publicly.
There have been a few incidents. But the most obvious opportunity for the Reds to make a statement came when Chapman was stopped for driving 93 mph on a suspended license at 12:42 a.m. one morning.