Originally Posted by vaticanplum
Ok, first of all, I have to say, enough with the name calling of the cities. Put down the team for the actions all you want, but going beyond that is bush-league fandom.
That aside, I agree with this. I think the Pirates are freaking out a bit. They remind me a lot of the Reds in 2010 at this point in the season, before the Cards fell apart and the Reds' lock on the division was secured. And that's right when the Reds-Cards brawl happened, if memory serves.
I think they were upset about the Heisey call and let it get to them emotionally, which was compounded by their inability to do anything on the field the rest of the game. Come the 9th, this happens, and McCutchen freaks out. McCutchen is well-known as an extremely level-headed player and I've never seen him angry like that. I don't necessarily think Chapman hit him intentionally, but I'm guessing he didn't exactly look apologetic after Cutch looked up in a fit of anger from being plunked hard.
The Pirates feel tremendous pressure to prove they are the real deal right now. Facing a first-place team at this point in the year -- it's huge. And one thing that hasn't been mentioned in here is that Pirates fans (beyond being part of a sports fanbase that, I feel, is ridiculously sour grapey about calls generally) one gajillion percent hold the Braves call as the turning point of their season last year. People still talk about it all the time. They have no memory of the Buccos collapsing handily on their own after that, only that call. So the pirates have a very bad chip on their shoulder about calls, I think.
I hope everybody channels their emotion onto the field, because this game was uncomfortable in a way I don't like. I like the Reds being able to stand up for themselves, but -- and I'm sorry if people don't agree with me -- I really, as a fan of this team living outside Cincinnati, don't want to have to get in a position where I'm constantly defending them as a thug team. This happened with their division rival two years ago and it's going to get tougher to defend if it happens again, even if the Reds aren't entirely at fault. On a larger level, the Pirates are the feel-good baseball story right now, so somebody has to be the villain by default. The Reds are too good a team to have to resort to that. and it would make my life completely miserable.
I just want to go back to this GREAT post. I'm in full agreement regarding saying things like Pukesburgh and the like. It's really bad form and makes Redszone appear to be like other forums. It's not a stretch to say that we Reds fans have to learn how to deal with greater success.
Now, regarding the Reds becoming bullies: I think all great teams have swagger and some of them learn how to not appear like bullies. Believe me, I'm not a Yankee fan but "Yankee tradition" comes to mind. i think the Reds may vary here and there and vary as they learn their own way to kick butt and I think they will never be as aggressive as (for example) the '86 Mets.
Dusty sets a tone in this department - as does Joey.
And I'll say it again, Chapman was taking the inside of his plate back. I think it is cool the way this situation mirrors the '10 Reds and Cards. This series just got a lot better. Thanks Aroldis! (and I mean that!)