08.01.11

SBN’s Gleason : Wevie Stonder II Is All That Seperates Us From Anarchy

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 9:04 pm by

Arbiters of modern baseball etiquette had a a field day Sunday afternoon in Detroit, whether they were dissecting Erick Aybar attempting to break up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid with an 8th inning leadoff bunt, or a  elbow to Verlander’s chest by Aybar during a subsequent botched rundown. The most memorable sequence from the Tigers’ 3-2 victory, however, saw Angels starter Jered Weaver throw over the head of the hosts’ Alex Avila following one of the more, uh,  protracted home run trots in recent memory by Carlos Guillen. Though Weaver was immediately ejected, SB Nation’s Mat Gleason, who might’ve misplaced a prescription in the last few days, argues, “This power over life and death keeps the game and the players in line. The fact that a man can throw the ball at your head or the head of your teammate is the reason why you do not showboat.” (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

The necessary evil of arbitrary police enforcement is the best antidote to anarchy that society has arrived at. And the looming threat of an inside pitch is the only thing maintaining the focus on playing baseball first and foremost. Without the high heat, players like Carlos Guillen could put on clown makeup as they approached the batter’s box, blow Bryce Harper kisses to the man on the mound and ruin your afternoon with amateurish dancing on the base paths.

Jered Weaver probably cost himself the Cy Young award on Sunday. But he established a certain authority that only comes with the terror of using force. And without his ultimatum, you may as well buy a ticket to the circus, because that is what baseball would be without headhunting.

Gleason cites the 1920 death of Ray Chapman as a catalyst for Carl Mays’ 27 wins the following season, so I’m not sure I entirely follow the logic that Weaver is no longer a Cy Young candidate. If he’s made it widely known opposing hitters dare not dig in, let alone celebrate massive home runs against him, surely the fear factor’s in his favor? Either way, it’s good to know there’s a journalist out there who considers blowing kisses justifiable provocation for an act that might result in maiming or death. That doesn’t sound anarchic at all!

6 Responses to “SBN’s Gleason : Wevie Stonder II Is All That Seperates Us From Anarchy”

  1. Seitz says:

    A ball thrown at a player’s head could result in maiming or death. A ball intentionally thrown three feet over a player’s head isn’t likely to do much damage unless the batter is Apache Chief.

  2. Seitz says:

    Which is to say, I think Mat can be a bit over the top at times, so I take everything he writes with a grain of salt, and that goes double for when he’s complimenting something I’ve written. None of that changes the fact that there was no intent to hit Avila.

  3. GC says:

    “A ball intentionally thrown three feet over a player’s head isn’t likely to do much damage unless the batter is Apache Chief.” That depends — though Mat acknowledges Wevie Stonder II’s exceptional control, it’s his intent to intimidate that receives special recognition. Weaver missed Avila by a mile but future Paul Kersey’s Of The Mound might not be so lucky.

    Also, this just in — Shawn Estes doesn’t understand what the big deal is.

  4. Seitz says:

    Future Paul Kerseys of the mound would do well to know their limitations. Shawn Estes hit batters at double the clip of Weaver, and had far worse control (more than a walk every two innings). Weaver has hit one batter in the last two seasons. Do you think he never, ever throws inside, or is he just lucky?

    If people would rather he just drilled Avila in the back, that’s cool, but I don’t see any reason to take it out on him.

  5. Pete says:

    Thinking back to that recent, uh “fight” between Big Papi and “ace” closer Kevin Gregg I did take away that the game has changed in regards to going inside. A lot of power hitters always dig in right on top of the plate and sit on fastballs. And many younger pitchers don’t seem to back them off enough and concede the inside part of the plate

    I remember after watching that classic Doc Ellis video I read an interview with him where he said he didn’t understand how pitchers today pitched against people like ARod and Ortiz. He said if ARod hit one off him he’d knock him down the next time he came up. He’s probably exaggerating but I don’t remember too many guys crowding the dish against Ryan or Clemens, unless their life insurance policy was up to date…and forget about showboating.

  6. GC says:

    “If people would rather he just drilled Avila in the back, that’s cool, but I don’t see any reason to take it out on him.”

    I’m taking very little out on Stonder II ; it’s Mr. Gleason I’m taking issue with. That Weaver successfully avoided harming Avila is tough to dispute — I believe there’s a video clip above that shows exactly that. However, I think there’s something slightly hysterical about suggesting occasional outbreaks of showboating/trash talk are best policed with a purpose pitch — particularly one tossed in the direction of someone other than the offender.. How about striking the guilty motherfucker out next time, instead?

    Estes’ crap control was the entire reason for the allusion, though I’m not surprised infrequent CSTB reader Roger Clemens has failed to chime in.

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