Baseball Was Fine Before The Brawl

This isn’t a rant about the Rougned Odor punch. It isn’t a rant about bat flips, low throws, or teams being silly. All of that is a part of the game. Whenever two highly competitive teams get together and have some history, there is always a chance for emotions to boil over. It isn’t seen everyday–nor should it–but fights happen in sports. They shouldn’t and they aren’t necessary, but they happen. And, as far as baseball fights go, Sunday’s brouhaha had something most baseball brawls don’t. There was an actual punch  thrown and landed. 

This, of course, has the talk radio circuit set for a Monday. Programs can spend two, three, even four hours breaking down the fight from every angle. There is the moralistic argument saying that fighting has no place in sports. There’s the savage argument of fighting is good and Bautista should’ve been able to retaliate. There’s the reaction of Bautista not even flinching after taking a big punch from Odor. There’s the debate about why the Rangers waited until their last meeting to do anything to Bautista (if they were so mad at that bat flip). And, of course, there’s the whole “who’s to blame” debate as Bautista’s bat flip from last October is widely blamed as the cause. That only leads to the whole Goose Gossage side too–“see, I told you showboating is bad!”

All of that was fodder this morning on talk radio. But, there was one common thread that was heard on multiple stations across Sirius/XM this morning. Many hosts said that the fight was good for baseball because people were now, finally talking about the sport.

That’s ignorance at its highest level. Sure, Major League Baseball may not be salacious in that its every day doesn’t produce this type of violence, but the notion that baseball isn’t being talked about is wrong. This fight doesn’t lift baseball out of some ether that it supposedly was languishing in. The sport is awash with cash. Salaries are booming, fan bases are excited, and the sport has never been better in terms of its product on the field. The idea that it needed a fight to get onto the National radar is ridiculous. With the NBA and NHL both in their playoff seasons, Major League Baseball’s regular season still has National attention.

With no-hitters, historic home runs, and great play on the field, Major League Baseball wasn’t lacking for exposure. Does this fight between the Blue Jays and Rangers add some intrigue? Maybe. Since this is the last time the two teams meet this season, all of this “excitement” will be lost unless the two meet in the playoffs. If that happens, we’ll be in for an intense playoff match up between two teams that don’t like each other.

Even that is a bit of a stretch. Every playoff series is intense. Every series has drama. Even without this brawl, a Texas and Toronto series would be great. The fight was an event; it happened and we watched excitedly. Its impact is temporary as it gives us something else to talk about on a Monday morning. That’s really all this is good for.

5 Reasons Why It Was Intriguing

  1. The fallout is something that will be interesting. How many games will Odor get suspended? How much of an impact will it have on the Rangers? Will anyone else get suspended?
  2. Matt Bush made his first appearance after a long period of difficulties and was involved in all of this.
  3. Adrian Beltre held Jose Bautista rather than his own teammate.
  4. The Rangers waited until the last possible minute to do something. It was almost as if they waited so the Blue Jays couldn’t respond. It’s what led to the Blue Jays calling them cowards.
  5. Jose Bautista didn’t even flinch. He can take a punch. Odor got a clean shot and Bautista kept moving forward.
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