I hate this. I hate every single solitary second of this. Just when baseball has a very iconic, universally popular moment, it is immediately undercut by reverting to the median. This is why we can’t have nice things.
If you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, here’s the cliff notes version.
Last night was game 6 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros. In the bottom of the first inning, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman hit a MASSIVE two-run homer to put the Astros out in front.
Astros first base coach needs to be better here. Bregman was going for the handoff all the way & coach blew it pic.twitter.com/smihCduRmb
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 30, 2019
The Home Run itself was awesome, Joe Buck’s call was spectacular, the Houston crowd was in pandemonium, and Bregman, instead of throwing his batting into outer space, decided to simply carry his twig all the way to first. It was hilarious. Twitter.com is an incredibly divisive place, but Bregman’s trot was universally loved. Objectively, it was a good look for baseball. It personified MLB’s “We Play Loud” commercial that’s been running all postseason.
The Astros went on to lose the game thanks to the Nationals Juan Soto’s own awesome home run (Oh, we’ll come back to him), and the baseball world collectively lit up a cigarette to celebrate a great World Serie game.
And then… and then.
During Bregman’s post-game media scrum, he was asked about his decision to carry his bat with him down to first as if he was an Olympic torch holder and he said the following:
Alex Bregman issued an apology after carrying his bat with him to first base following his first-inning home run ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/8ZHY7NtIq3
— ESPN (@espn) October 30, 2019
Come. On. Dude.
This is the weakest, ass-covering move of all time, sports or otherwise. The ONLY reason that Bregman came out and said that, “It’s not how I was raised to play the game” is because the Astros lost. If Houston had held on to win game 6, Bregman would’ve won World Series MVP and probably would’ve made a shirt with a silhouette of him carrying the bat. The decision by Bregman to back-peddle and try to tell the media that he is some old school, ‘play the game the right way’ type of guy is complete BULLSHIT. Alex Bregman has been flashy since he came out of the womb. Look at all of his home runs that he hit this year; You can be sure that at least 85% of them get the fully extended bat raise which Bregman has basically trademarked at this point. Alex Bregman plays like someone who knows he’s the best player on the field, and he’s going to show you, and then let you know about it. That’s what makes him so fun to watch.
To come out and apologize completely undercuts everything that the new crop of kids have been normalizing. This is the direction that baseball is heading. This wasn’t even that crazy of a move. It’s not like Bregman chucked his bat into the 5th row, he just held onto his bat a little bit longer than he should have. This isn’t even close to needing an apology. In fact, Bregman should’ve stared that reported dead in the eye and said that he’s going deep again tomorrow night and he’s taking the bat all the way around the bases. That would’ve been fun.
Speaking of fun, look at how Juan Soto handled himself when asked about carrying his bat down to first after his own go-ahead home run:
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 30, 2019
“That was pretty cool, I wanna do that”. THAT is what “Letting the kids play” should sound like. That’s a kid who is balling out in front of the entire world and is letting everyone know about it. If the 21-year old rookie phenom knows how to answer questions on bat flipping, Alex Bregman should, too.
Also, Anyone saying Bregman is “classy” for apologizing is a complete dweeb. Quit being a stick in the mud and just let baseball be fun.
Photo via MLB