Memo to Fans: Enjoy the Game

I have noticed a certain trend this postseason, maybe it is because of Twitter, which gives everyone access to unlimited opinions, but there seems to be a lot of complaining this postseason. Just non-stop. I can’t scroll down my Twitter feed without coming across at least a few complaints about the baseball game, whether it is bat flips or poor umpiring. Maybe I just follow the wrong people, and that certainly could be the truth, but I am tired of the whining.

Let’s start with umpiring. Fans jump all over any opportunity to rip on and blame the umpires for their team’s poor play. I am not going to deny that there have been controversial calls this postseason, with Chase Utley’s slide into Ruben Tejeda topping that list.

Was the wrong called made? Probably, but it is not as clear cut as people make it out to be. These slides have been happening in baseball for decades, whether you like it or not. What Chase Utley did might have been dirty, but the rule has rarely, if ever, been enforced in a game before. The only reason the play garnered so much attention was because it was in a high-stakes postseason game and resulted in an injury. After Jung-Ho Kang was taken out earlier this season, I barely came across any tweets on my timeline complaining about this rule. Oh, and interference was not called on that play either. I cannot tell you how many people were up in arms complaining and whining that the umpires are idiots and do not have a clue how to do their job. Please, ten out of ten times interference is not called on that play. Again, through Twitter, I have noticed an uptick in fans complaining about the strike zone. Tweets vary from “this ump is blind” to “we need robot umps.” I believe this increase in complaining about the strike zone is thanks to the “K-Zones” displayed during the game on TV. First of all, the K-Zone is probably less accurate than umpires at certain points and it also is not simple to determine if a close pitch is a ball or strike when the catcher is attempting to steal a strike by framing the pitch. Umpires get fooled sometimes, I won’t deny that. Other times they may flat out miss a call, but a lot of the calls that fans seem to be complaining about are nitpicking. These umpires have been selected by Major League Baseball as the best umpires in the country. To claim that you, a regular fan, could do a better job is preposterous. Maybe next time your favorite player should not look at a close pitch for a called third strike. Just maybe, it is not the umpires fault occasionally. Maybe not, though, according to this guy:

On top of all this, there has been an immense amount of whining about bat flips. The debate of whether bat flips are fun or showing up your opponent has run wild this postseason, thanks to some beautiful bat flips such as Jose Bautista’s the other day:

My question is, why do you care? I have noticed that the fans that are the most upset are the fans of the team that just coughed up that home run leading to a spectacular bat flip. Bat flips are good for the game. What Jose Bautista did was not disrespectful. I highly doubt between the time he demolished that ball and flipped his bat he thought to himself,”Let me show up Dyson and the Rangers.” Nope. What that bat flip displayed was raw emotion in an environment that evokes the highest of emotions. That is what fans should want to see. The raw emotion is what makes sports great and the countless complaints about how bat flips are rude are ruining what we are all watching for — the entertainment and greatness of baseball.

I am not telling anyone what to do or think. I am not even telling anyone to stop complaining. I complain about my team. But, maybe tone down the complaining. Take a deep breath, sit on your couch, or wherever you may watch the next game from, and soak in the greatness of baseball. Appreciate the game we all love.

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