Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First to Third: Are Pitcher Celebrations Too Much?

Before Sunday's Subway Series game at Yankee Stadium, oft-injured Yankee reliever Brian Bruney and Met closer Francisco Rodriguez had a confrontation during the end of Yankee batting practice. The confrontation stems from Bruney criticizing Rodriguez's fist pump and point to the sky celebration after a save. For those of you who believe in "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," Bruney's Yankee teammate Joba Chamberlain is also a maestro of the fist pump.

As a baseball traditionalist, there is nothing better than a pitcher recording a big strikeout to end an inning or game, putting his head down and walking toward the dugout. In recent years, there has been much debate over how much celebrating on the mound is acceptable. Most hitters will prefer pitchers to remain stoic on the mound and in exchange, when a hitter hits a ball 450 feet off a pitcher, he won't show the pitcher up while jogging around the bases. It's basically an unwritten law in baseball, respect me and I'll respect you.

It's my opinion that guys like K-Rod, Chamberlain, and Jonathan Papelbon of Boston are way too excessive in their fist pumps/spasms on the mound and need to be toned down. It's no surprise that none of those guys are over 30 years old and their excessive celebrating on the mound is likely a sign of immaturity. When was the last time you saw Roy Halladay act like that on the mound?

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