Tuesday, September 8, 2009

3 Quick Opinions: The Prince Fielder Celebration

On Sunday, Brewers 1B Prince Fielder crushed an extra innings walk-off home run to beat the Giants. Fielder and the Brewers celebrated with an obviously pre-planned routine as Fielder emphatically stomped on home plate while his surrounding teammates collapsed en masse. Y'all can check it out here. While channel surfing on Monday, I came across the predictable old-school "disrespecting the game" meme from the Talentless Bill Ripken of the MLB Network in response to the Brewers' antics. I wanted the opinions of two real baseball fans, so I hit up Eugene Tierney of Tailgate Crashers and Tom Daniels of One New York East Coast Bias Life for their thoughts. Me first.

Aaron: I loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. And, I'm generally not a fan of the porcine Prince or his douchebaggery (called "intensity" by Brewers fans). No one wants baseball to follow football's lead where random tackles are celebrated like winning the lottery or basketball where the preening and superficiality often overshadow the game. But, if the Brewers want to give their fans a memorable moment – in what's been a forgettable season – then, go crazy. The game was over and it was a cool visual. Baseball really needs to get over itself.

Eugene: The things a non-contender will do to make themselves feel better about not being good. The Brewers are well known (at least in St. Louis) for being a classless team when it comes to celebrations - any walk-off homer becomes a cause to untuck the jersey and make an a** of themselves. Too bad that extra inning win doesn't mean anything more than just another game played.

The sad thing is about the Brewers is they could be good, but their childish behavior shows why they won't make it out of a series in October.

Ochocinco and T.O. would be proud.

Tom: I had friends visit for the holiday weekend so I didn't catch this until late last night on ESPN. When I saw the celebration two things surprised me: 1) the ESPN anchor didn't use the opportunity to editorialize a little on either how awful or awesome it was and 2) when I flipped to MLB Network, they hadn't already shifted to 24/7 righteous indignation mode.I've never understood the issue with post-game celebrations. You won. The team accomplished its goal for the day. I understand why teams have an issue with, say, Joba Chamberlain celebrating a fifth inning strikeout like he just single-handedly won a pennant but winning a game? Converting a save or a walk-off hit?

Besides, for anyone who has a problem here -- I'm not quite sure how this is any different then a "hop around on the plate" mob, David Ortiz's/A-Rod's helmet flip, or AJ Burnett's pie-in-the-face gimmick.And let's not pretend Albert's never admired a shot out of the box -- lest we forget his NLCS shot off Brad Lidge that might still be traveling. Or the 2006 Cardinals throwing the "Jose" chant back in the Met fans' faces.

Eugene: I don't have a problem with celebrations, when there is something to really celebrate. What did the Brewers accomplish with the win? One game closer to being a .500 team - no real need for a choreographed celebration for a game that will be forgotten in a week. The 2 instances you mentioned were both in the post-season, when the games were important (plus, Albert isn't the nicest guy around -- a hell of a player, but I've never cared for him as a person).

Tom: Forgotten in a week. You just outlined why no one should care about post-game celebrations either. If it was bad enough, Prince will eat a fastball next year. But it's likely he won't because by the time the Brewers play the Giants again this will be long, long forgotten.

Aaron: People still think that a generation of kids have been turned off of baseball because of World Series night games or exorbitant ticket prices or one of a dozen other tired excuses. The reality is that Major League Baseball – and those who play it, run it and report on it – actively tamp down individual personalities while simultaneously expecting casual fans to be lured by three-and-a-half hour games, repetitive pitching changes and teams that are playing out the string.


CrazyCanuck said...

That one didn't bother me, mainly because it had a joyousness to it, a real sense of fun and enjoyment within the game. Lots of smiles all around. It was something I could see Jalen and his teammates doing for fun.

The ones that do bother me, and they seem to be in the majority, are the "I'm gonna show the world, 'cause they didn't respect me, dammit!" ones. Those "celebrations" are born not out of fun, but anger, and they take some of my joy out of watching.

That being said, I would have laughed my ass off if Fielder would have tripped over his skirt, er, jersey, while rounding third.

Brett said...

I don't know how many times Brewers fans have to point this out, but I'll do it one more time for all of the St. Louis fans and anyone else who has a problem with the shirt thing.

Mike Cameron has untucked his shirt after every victory since the beginning of his career as a tribute to his dad, who always came home with his shirt untucked after a tough day of work.

Cameron is one of the most respected guys in the Brewers clubhouse, and the other guys picked up on it out of respect for him and because they appreciated the nod to his dad.


And while I'm at it, there was nothing disrespectful about the display at home plate the other day. Heaven forfend if anyone wants to inject a little fun into what has been an otherwise disheartening season. My brother and his kids (ages 5 and 3) were at that game, and they (the kids) were still talking the next day about how much fun it was to watch.

Anyone who thinks this is a great big ol' travesty, just take a deep breath, finish your Metamucil, and watch something that won't get your adult diapers in a bunch. Like Champions Tour golf.

SHough610 said...

The walk-off celebration is one of the great moments in baseball. I don't see how Prince's celebration is any different than the choreographed handshakes and shaving cream pies in the face.

Eugene Tierney said...

If Cameron wants to show his tribute to his dad, why doesn't he untuck his shirt when they lose? Doesn't he play just as hard in a loss as he does in a win?

I have watched the Brewers "mature" as a team and they haven't lived up to expectations. They younger players (Prince, Weeks, Hardy, etc) have been in the league a few years now and really haven't accomplished anything. I've been hearing about how it's because they are immature - that Ken Macha doesn't have control of the team because Prince's attitude. This celebration is just one example. If they worked as hard on playing as they did on creating the celebration, they'd be in a penant race right now.

SHough610 said...

There is one very easy, very simple way to keep the Brewers from celebrating like that: beat them. You notice we don't see the New York Mets (a team notorious for their celebrations) celebrating too much this year? Because they're not winning.

And yes, as a Philly fan I'm glad I got to get my point across AND insult a New York team.

Tom said...

I've been trying to get East Coast Bias from the douche who owns it for the last 6 years. He wouldn't sell it to me for any price -- wouldn't even consider it -- continually telling me he was going to start a blog on it. Somewhere along the line, it got transferred to a squatter. This makes me sad.

Nicka said...

Baseball is run and portrayed on tv by ex-players who didn't make near the money (and in many cases didn't have near the talent) of today's playerd\s. They have nothing to criticize current players for but "disrespecting the game". It's really shallow and obviously self-serving. You're "disrespecting" the way I "played the game" and "knew how to win." Fuck off you miserabs.

All this wishy washy bullshit that spews from the John Kruks and Joe Morgans is subjective and one should always consider the comment of each personal context jerk off who's mouth it left. STOP HAVING FUN AND MAKING MONEY BECUASE i DIDN'T DO EITHER !!!!

GO Prince!