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Too Much Discipline in Baseball?

by Francis Ottomanelli | Posted on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

puig dodgers debut

One of the things that I hate about sports nowadays is how strict they have become. I’m surprised that players are even allowed to smile after a good play anymore. The NFL took away end zone celebrations, the NBA gives technical fouls for just about any show of emotion, and MLB is trying to turn every player into a morally perfect person.

Yasiel Puig is one of the most exciting players in the game. Whenever the LA Dodgers are going to be on ESPN the commercials are all centered on Puig doing Puig things. The fans love it, yet many baseball analysts and experts criticize him for the exact same thing that the fans love – the same thing that brings so much excitement to the game.

I am not sure if baseball is trying to lengthen its lead of being the most boring of all professional sports but they sure are doing a good job. I miss the days when teams and players would enforce the game themselves. If a team didn’t like how a player on the other team is acting, throw inside, and if they continue to act that way, hit them. Nowadays whenever a player shows any kind of emotion at the plate after a big at-bat and is drilled in his subsequent at-bat there is a good chance the umpire will think it is intentional and throw the pitcher out and sometimes even the manager.

Throwing inside and hitting batters is part of the game; if you don’t want to get hit by a baseball then don’t play the sport. However, I think any pitcher that throws high and aims for the head should be ejected and suspended (Roger Clemens hitting Piazza is a good example). Hitting a batter anywhere else is fine. I am also not saying that pitchers should just go around hitting players they don’t like, only if it has something to do with the game at hand or involves previous history between the two teams.

With that said, instead of players complaining and saying that Puig, and other players who act in a similar fashion, are unprofessional, they should just hit the kid. That would send a bigger and longer lasting message than him constantly being criticized by analysts for his immature play. Puig signed a guaranteed $42 million contract when he was just 21-years-old, the last thing on his mind is what people who don’t even play the game have to say about him.

Yes, allowing pitchers to hit players would probably lead to more injuries, something that a multi-billion dollar industry like MLB tries to avoid, but it would make the sport more of a man’s game. It would bring back the intense rivalries and make the games far more exciting. I love when players like Puig showoff because they know they are just more talented than 90 percent of the players out there and if it annoys the other teams then hit him, I’m sure he would mellow out much quicker.

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