Odor-Bautista’s brawl is what baseball needs

Movie quote of the day:

“I can avoid being seen if I wish, but to disappear entirely, that is a rare gift.”

– Aragorn, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista (left) takes a punch from Texas second baseman Rougned Odor.
Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista (left) takes a punch from Texas second baseman Rougned Odor.

For those that haven’t heard, there was a bench-clearing brawl Sunday in a MLB game between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. It all started in the eighth inning when Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista slid late into second base while Texas second baseman Rougned Odor was covering to turn a double play. Odor felt that Bautista’s slide was intentionally late in order to affect Odor’s throw to first, or possibly to hurt him and take him out of the game. The act resulted in Odor shoving and punching Bautista (it was a glorious punch, though), and then the clearing of both benches. The league suspended Odor eight games for the incident.

Odor punch GIF

Baseball is known for having an unwritten “code” in the sport. In this unwritten “code,” it’s frowned upon to admire a home run, celebrate excessively, scream or shout from the dugout, express discontent for other players, bunt to break up a no-hitter, steal with a huge lead, steal when you’re behind, etc. Essentially, players can’t be competitive or have fun. When talking to my brother about this fight, he responded with “There’s no place for that.”

Baseball is too stern and believes that you have to play the game one way. Basically, to act like a statue and show little emotion. That’s a ridiculous way to think and it’s why the younger generation doesn’t like baseball as much as football, basketball, or hockey. News flash: It’s okay to play the sport differently, but there is always room for respect. I’ll admit that a scrum is stepping over the line and needs to be stopped by the umpires. However, it’s time that the culture accept letting tempers fly on the field.

The Odor and Bautista brawl is exactly what baseball needs. Young fans want to see players show emotions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fist-pumping after a home run, showing discontent toward an umpire after a bad call, or resentment toward a player on the other team. Everyone loves when Aaron Rodgers does “the belt” celebration after a touchdown, Tom Brady yelling at an official that missed a penalty, or J.J. Watt shoving an offensive lineman after the play is over. Why can’t baseball have that same competitive edge? The culture of baseball needs a change.

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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