Re: Griffey glares at Marlins after blasting his 492nd homer
I was watching the game, all three kids asleep upstairs, my wife in on the computer. As soon as they IBBed Casey, I thought to myself, why would they do that? It has been done twice in the last couple of days and both times, they have been burnt, once by Jr and once by Kearns. I am sitting in my chair arguing with myself the logic, I mean Casey is leading the league in hitting and was on fire the night before (glad I picked that game to walk up to rather than last nights account of the weather), when Beckett threw that 96 mph heater up there and Jr turned on it. As soon as I saw that swing and contact, I jumped out of my chair and yelped like a squeeling pig, causing my wife to pee herself (metaphorically, of course) in the other room. That was the sweetest swing I have seen out of Jr in years, and I have not seen a ball laserbeamed like that in a long time. If he had gotten it up, it could have gone 500 ft.
I saw the glare but didn't anything of it until I heard it on the Angry Guys this morning. I don't understand the big deal. If I was a Hall of Famer, a sure fire first ballot type guy and you walked someone to pitch to me for the third time in 5 days? I would do more than glare, especially when it had backfired in their faces every single time. I would be shocked if it had anything to do with their prior relationship or anything else. It was a message, you walk someone to get to me, I will make you pay. Why are you questioning my manhood?
Now, as I alluded to earlier, I can completely understand the logic of the IBB in that situation. We are not talking a slow start for Jr. We are talking a guy who has not been productive in 3 years. A guy is widely viewed as over the hill and breaking down and just about done for. And a guy who does not have the season numbers (big picture) at this point to change that view. As a follower of the Reds, someone who has been watching Jr heat up, I just don't think I do it, having seen the results of the first two times it was done and the way Jr is swinging the bat. Trader Jack doesn't have the benefit of that.
But let's change the topic real quick. Just think about the piece of situational hitting by Jr in that situation. You have runners on first and second, so the pitcher does not want to walk you. They just IBBed the guy before so he needs to get one over to ensure he hasn't lost his control, which happens sometimes after an IBB. You as a pitcher lose the control and focus a little and throw 1 or 2 balls and all of the sudden, you are in a bad situation. Then, the guy on the mound is a young gun with an I am better than the world attitude (hard earned in the WS btw) and a 96 MPH heater. And he is staring in at me thinking I am washed up and over the hill. What do I do?
Here is what Jr did apparently. Throw everything else out of my mind and sit dead red, know full well it is coming and be ready to jump on it. I wished I had taped the game, just so I could go back and watch the minute or two leading up to that at bat, just to see Jr's eyes and body language as he went up to the plate. Seeing that picture perfect swing again would be nice too, but I have a hunch that you could all but read his mind by looking into his eyes before he stepped to the plate for that at bat.
Man, I get goosebumps just thinking about the whole exchange. Stuff like this is why baseball is the best sport in the entire world.