Talk About Ugly! Fights during a baseball or football or baseball or hockey game are nothing new. Especially hockey. But the latest and not greatest clash between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers this past weekend takes the cake. Here’s what happened as reported by MLB.com:
“Texas was leading by one run in the eighth when Bush started the inning by hitting Bautista with a 96-mph fastball. The two exchanged words, and there appeared to be verbal barbs between Toronto’s slugger and the Rangers’ dugout as well, but the game continued uninterrupted.
That changed two batters later, when Justin Smoak hit a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who tried to get a forceout at second base. Bautista came into the base with a hard slide that was ruled a violation of MLB’s new slide rule and made contact with second baseman Rougned Odor’s leg. And even though Odor’s throw sailed wide of first, the Rangers were awarded an inning-ending double play because of Bautista’s illegal slide.
Before the play was over, Odor shoved Bautista with both hands and then punched him squarely in the jaw with his right fist as Bautista’s helmet and sunglasses went flying into the air. The dugouts cleared and play was delayed for a lengthy period of time as the umpires tried to sort through the chaos.”
Athletes, and especially male athletes, have an extra dose and dosage of testosterone flowing all of the time, and a heaping helping of the natural steroid during a good game. And then, to top it all off, players have a whopping, walloping, massive and mammoth extra added portion of the stuff when the chips are down and the stakes are high.
That was the scene in Texas when these two teams went at it and tempers got the best of almost everybody, especially second baseman Odor when he punched Bautista. And he didn’t just punch him; he pummeled and pommeled him with a right that knocked Bautista’s hat and glasses off. Man! No the pitcher (Bush) should not have hit Bautista, and no, Odor should not have punched Bautista. But Bautista is no boyish boy scout of a choir boy in this incident either. Do your homework and read up on the backstory for yourself.
So what lesson can we learn from this unfortunate unfolding? Keeping your cool and tempering your tone is the mark of a strong man. Not flexing or fronting or flashing or trash talking. No. that’s not the way. Unfortunately, some must and just resort to their physical, carnal, animal and visceral instincts instead taking the high road.
Giving in and giving up to the want and will and whim of the moment is never a good idea. Ask me how I know. And I know there are some that rejoiced with glee at the punch, but this wrong was absolutely wonton and went absolutely wayward, and it certainly without question will lead to another. In the meantime, egos were injured and psyches were socked and some players are even now plotting revenge.
But as mom taught us all, two wrongs don’t make a right.