Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another unwritten rules violation, Carlos Gomez edition

Atlanta Braves left-hander Paul Maholm drilled Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez in the leg with an 88 mph fastball on June 23. Gomez took exception to it, believing it was intentional, and he hasn't forgotten about it.

So, Gomez went to the plate looking for revenge when the two men competed against each other again Wednesday night. There's no question Gomez was looking to take Maholm deep. He took a mighty cut and missed on the first pitch, almost falling down in the process. On the second pitch, he connected, sending one deep into the seats in left-center field.

Give Gomez credit for that. If you believe a pitcher has hit you intentionally, one of the best ways to deal with that is to hit a home run next time you face him. Perfectly acceptable. What happened after Gomez made contact wasn't so acceptable, as he stood there and admired his handiwork, then stared at Maholm and flipped the bat behind him before rounding the bases.

On his way around the bases, Gomez jawed with Maholm, Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman and catcher Brian McCann. Gomez actually never touched home plate, because McCann confronted him about 20 feet up the third-base line. The two men exchanged more heated words, and the benches emptied. You can watch video of the incident here

It's no secret I've never liked Gomez. I've disliked him since his days with the Minnesota Twins. He's a hot dog and a loose cannon. His actions on the field often cross the line into obnoxious territory, and this incident is just the latest example. He got tossed out of the game, and rightfully so. He's an idiot.

However, I can't put 100 percent of the blame on Gomez for this one. There are certain teams around baseball that fancy themselves as gatekeepers of the unwritten rules of the game. Atlanta is starting to become one of those teams. Not even a month ago, the Braves were involved in a similar incident when Miami Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez, a 21-year-old kid, got a little too excited about hitting his first major league home run. 

Is it really necessary to have an altercation when someone stands and admires a home run for a little too long? Have our feelings gotten that sensitive? For me, the Braves are living in a glass house. One of their own players, Justin Upton, has been known to pose after hitting a home run. Most teams probably have a guy or two who is guilty of hot-dogging it after taking the opposing pitcher deep. I know a lot of people don't like to see that stuff, but it's pretty common in today's game.

I can agree that Gomez was over the line with his antics. But I'll be honest, I don't know exactly where that line is. At one point does a home run pose become offensive to the other team? I'm not sure. Maybe someone should take these unwritten rules I hear about all the time and write 'em down so we all understand what is acceptable and what is not.


  1. I had a couple thoughts about this. First, the Braves are in the playoffs and have been for a while. The Brewers are not. Let this dude do whatever he wants. At the end of the day, his season ends in about a week. Secondly, if the Braves players were still "competing" and actually cared about these games, then why have they basically played at or below.500 ball the past month? I didn't watch your link (because I can't here at work) but the one I watched last night had Gomez running his mouth as soon as he stepped into the box. So you knew something was going to happen. Probably whether he hit a HR or not. At the end of the day, let it go. Be the bigger man. So he watched his HR... So what!

  2. And what do you think of Cano asking for 10 years $305 million? Are teams really going to be this stupid to give him this kind of contract? 30-year-old asking for a 10-year contract. Doesn't make sense. Pujols is proving it right now. ARods albatross contract is proving it. Even CJ Wilson's 5-year is proving it. To a lesser extent, Soriano. I read that and just shook my head. No team besides the Yankees is going to pay one guy 30 mil. a year for ten years. It's just stupid.

  3. I don't think I would give a 10-year contract to a player ever, regardless of age or skill level. There are only a few teams in baseball that can afford to give Cano the type of money he's asking for. One of them is the Yankees, but I'm not sure even New York wants to stretch that far, especially with the uncertainty of the A-Rod situation. I think I read the Yankees are offering $140 million over seven years, which means the sides are light years apart. But just what other team would be willing to meet Cano's demands? The Dodgers? That's about it. I imagine the Angels are about tapped out with all the bad contracts they've handed out, and the Red Sox are already set at second base.