My mother taught me respect. And to value politeness ... to a point. Respect always. But politeness has its limits.
She also always scolded me for using the phrase "shut up" because it is rude, harsh, and intellectually limiting the vast majority of the time. I'm sharing this with you because I want you to understand that it is no small thing for me when I say that Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, needs to shut the hell up.
"That was ... I mean, that was one of the more disrespectful things I have been a part of in a game."
"I really didn't appreciate that," Kershaw added. "The game starts at 7:10 and has started at 7:10 here for a long time. Just go around, or finish earlier. But yeah, that wasn't appreciated, for sure."
Really? One of the "more disrespectful things" you have "ever been a part of"... really? What a charmed life you live, sir.
Respectfully, getting started a few minutes late for your twice-a-week job you get paid a grotesque amount of money to do which earns you the adoration of millions of people is -- on the grand scale of human experience -- not even a blip on the radar of the daily disrespect felt by most people on a consistent basis. Have at least a little perspective.
Even away from real life and just inside the parameters of professional sports, for one of the game's most accomplished players to make such a statement out of the most innocuous of occurrences is laughable. Anderson is still just in his second year, the Rockies are playing without five of their regular contributors and they were playing their 16th game in 17 days at the very end of a West Coast road trip. And you took the extra bit of preparation, in a game you ended up winning, personally? How self-absorbed can you be?
Respectfully, sir, you play on a team with Yasiel Puig and Chase Utley, each of whom have done much more disrespectful things on far bigger stages that what Anderson did last night.
To me, this is far worse than Tim Lincecum's infamous "juiced ball" remark that came in the heat of a moment in the middle of a game; a comment he took back and never defended. This was a veteran of MLB attacking a young player he should be setting an example for. Instead, he fell back on some "unwritten rules" nonsense, probably because he is still angry the Rockies made history while beating him a little over a week ago in Denver and almost got him again last night.
And what was the point? Was Anderson's delay the reason the Rockies loaded the bases in the first? Is Kershaw blaming this slight lapse in time for the two runs he gave up? Surely not. That would be ridiculous. A player of his caliber doesn't need to make such excuses. But then -- seriously -- what was the point? Why was he talking about this after the game? Even from a strategic standpoint with all the games left to play between these two teams in 2017, why give the Rockies even more motivation to beat you the next time out?
The most likely outcome of this comment is that it lights a fire under the Colorado Rockies and especially Tyler Anderson who is working his way out of a little funk. This is just the kind of thing that could help him kick it for good.
There are a lot of unwritten rules in baseball and most of them are nonsense, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't on some level be respected. I'm fine if you don't like when guys admire their own home runs. I'm not fine if you react to that by throwing a 98 mph fastball at their head. You don't like it if someone tries to bunt to break up a no-hitter? Makes sense. But don't act like you wouldn't do the same. If you catch a team using binoculars or think a guy is doctoring the ball, by all means, have the umpires check.
The one common theme among all these examples, though, is that they actually affect the game on the field. So I ask again, what exactly is the nature of Kershaw's complaint? Who was hurt and what rule was broken? And how in the world did it qualify near the top of your list of disrespectful moments in a game where "rush the mound" and "benches clearing brawl" and "chin music" are semi-regularly uttered phrases?
It's fine to take issue if you think the opposition is deliberately delaying your timing in a way that is typically seen as unacceptable. But to publicly whine about it afterward? That's bush league.
And if Kershaw used it as an excuse to hit Carlos Gonzalez, bruising his hand, it's even more bush league.
If Tyler Anderson had stood in front of the press after a loss while he was scuffling, complaining about how much time Clayton Kershaw took to warm up, he would rightfully be lambasted probably by coaches and teammates as well as the media. "He's Clayton Kershaw, kid, he gets as much time as he wants," would be seen as a legitimate retort. Meanwhile, Anderson would be seen as a young pitcher making excuses. So ... what is Kershaw's excuse? He should know better. He should be held to a higher standard than the rookies and sophomores of the league, not a lower one.
This game, and this division, don't need another Madison Bumgarner; a great lefty who should only be known for that but instead is the "mountains out of molehills" guy as well.
Respectfully, sir, watching you pitch is a baseball lover's dream that never ceases to inspire awe. Your arm is truly magic but your mouth needs to let that arm do the talking.