Two days ago, when the Houston Astros faced the New York Yankees, things got heated and the benches cleared.
So here's what happened.
The Astros were up 9-0 at the top of the sixth and Gomez came up to bat. He already hit a double and was looking to collect more hits. He took a big swing but popped up to center field. He flipped his bat and showed his frustration.
That's what triggered the Yankees bench. They were already pissed off that they were trailing 9-0, but what pissed them off even more was Gomez's reaction after he hit that pop fly. They felt that he was disrespecting them by displaying his frustration even when his team was up by nine. Thus, they started chirping him and told him to calm down.
But Gomez was not going to calm down.
Carlos Gomez is one feisty baseball player and the whole league knows it. He takes his job very seriously and it can piss off the opposing bench, but fans praise him for his passion. So Gomez being Gomez told the Yankees dugout to "Shut up!"
He actually said it multiple times.
But Girardi is also one of the most passionate managers in the MLB. So he stood up and told Gomez to "Play the game the right way"
During the post-game interview Girardi said, "I just told him, ‘Play the game the right way. They’re kicking our rear ends. Show a little professionalism to the pitcher. I know you missed a pitch and are frustrated by it, but I just think it’s a little too much.”
So here's the question: What did Girardi mean when he said "play the game the right way"?
Here's my take. I am sick and tired of people talking about the "unwritten rules of baseball", that players have to respect the game and don't make it a show. But let's face the ugly truth. Baseball's popularity has been declining constantly and it's time to take a different path.
Baseball needs more NFL-esque and NBA-esque type elements. The game needs more excitement especially during today's time when everything is so fast-paced. It's long enough already and playing the game the right way is not going to help in any way.
Gomez was just being Gomez. He was frustrated at the fact that he popped up. How can you blame him for being angry at himself? It actually shows that he takes his job seriously even when his team is up 9-0 in the top of the sixth inning! He was playing the game by his own style. Baseball needs more Gomezes. They need more Puigs. They need more Harpers. Baseball needs more excitement.
But most importantly, people have to know that there is no one right way to play the game. And the Yankees do not have the right to teach Gomez on how he should play the game, even if they have won 27 World Series.