My thoughts on yesterday...(in no particular order)
1. Neither team, as represented by the actions of its players, came away from this thing totally free of blame.
2. A fair case can be made suggesting the Blue Jays did less wrong and a fair case can be made suggesting the Rangers did less wrong.
3. The timing of the retaliation was a bit odd, and perhaps foolish because it was a one-run game, but it is what it is and the argument that it left the Blue Jays with no time to answer is garbage because, guess what, they did answer...on the very next pitch in the next half-inning.
4. It was clear the Rangers felt the need to do something in response to last year. It was executed properly by Matt Bush. He hit him below the shoulders. It isn't his fault he throws gas.
5. To Jose Bautista: If you want to posture and make a tiny scene after getting hit while taking your base, fine. Whatever. But do it and be done with it. You don't need to try and get the last word. Don't you realize you still have the upper hand? You still hit that mammoth home run that allowed your team to advance and sent the Rangers packing. Hitting you in the eighth doesn't even the score. And I'm not even mad about your bat flip that day either (though, I was at the time). It happened. You might have taken it too far with some staring, but whatever. Just deal with the fact that the opposing team, fueled by heightened emotions, thought you took it too far and take your base and let that be that. But you couldn't, could you?
6. I thought Bautista's slide was both dirty and selfish. The dirty part is evident with how late it was and how it appeared clear that he had full intent on going after Rougie. The selfish part, which is really quite comical, is that it cost his team a critical out late in a one-run game.
7. After the dirty slide, we entered brawl mode. This is not unusual. Neither player did anything over-the-top here. Let's stop acting like Rougie throwing a punch was such a big deal. Punches are ALWAYS thrown, but RARELY do they connect. And boy, did Rougie connect or what?
8. Bautista was clearly gearing up to deliver some kind of a blow before Rougie clocked him. While I don't think he should get punished for the intent, I do think it shows that he was still engaged in the altercation. Had he thrown up his hands and tried to put an end to it and then Rougie punched him, I think that would be perceived differently. While Bautista didn't technically attempt a punch--because he got lit up--the replay shows he was still engaged. I don't blame anyone for anything that happened in that brawl because if you think everyone every other time a brawl has occurred just plays patty cakes, you're nuts. Some do just to look like they're occupied, but there is always a group of guys who are getting after it. Had Odor's punch not landed, this would be a big story, but not nearly as big.
9. No issue with Jesse Chavez for throwing at Prince. You knew it was coming and he did it the right way. Thankfully, Prince acted appropriately, too, with a smile and then a nice trip to first.
10. Rougie is lucky his throw didn't hit Bautista in the face. As weird as it sounds, I'd much rather them settle that with punches than with a baseball at 100 MPH to the face. At least when Bautista got clocked, he had a chance to defend himself. Even though the slide was dirty, I think he deserved a punch more than a baseball to the dome. We won't ever know, but my guess is that the suspension would have been harsher had Rougie hit him in the face.
11. Glad the fans reacted with a chant of "USA! USA! USA!" instead of throwing objects onto the field.
12. I had a conversation with a number of players, active and retired, some even former teammates of Joey Bautista's, and while they didn't all agree on what was right and wrong and how each team how each team went about everything, the majority consensus was they were happy Bautista got punched.
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