As a coach of a little league team, I’m expected to act like a professional and to teach my players the same.
What this has meant recently, however, is telling the players not to jump up and down after a great play, or mobbing a kid at the plate after he scores a winning run.
Growing up playing little league baseball there’s one thing coaches always emphasized above all else: respect.
Respect the umpires, respect your coach, respect your teammates and respect the other team.
By the time you’re 16 you’ll be a rigid baseball playing machine who only exists to hit baseballs and shake hands at the end of the game, at least in their eyes.
This, eventually, leads to Major League Baseball, where announcers point out any post-homerun bat flip lasting longer a second.
However, we now see a new generation of baseball players in the MLB, players like Tim Anderson and Yasiel Puig put a bit more flair into their performances and baseball.
Normally a Reds vs. Pirates game wouldn’t be very exciting to me but when Yasiel Puig picks a fight with six Pirates players, suddenly the series becomes interesting.
Despite their personalities seemingly making the game much more fun to watch, you never hear the end of commentators saying
how disrespectful players like Puig are for showboating on the basepaths.
It’s not just commentators.
Players who stare too long at a homerun can find themselves on the business end of a 98 miles per hour fastball in their next at bat.
This is where the line should be drawn, when you risk someone’s physical health in order to take some sort of revenge.
Pitchers should be able to dance on the mound similar to how batters dance on their home run trot.
This all stems from little league though, where you’re taught not to show an ounce of emotion during the game, out of fear of “disrespecting” the losing team.
Baseball is a sport of small bursts of emotion and kids should be allowed express their emotions through the game.
There’s a balance, you shouldn’t actively taunt kids when nothing is happening.
On the path we’re on right now however, we’re turning our future star baseball players into baseball playing robots.
Boring, boring robots.