Act Like You’ve Been There Before

May 11, 2009 – 9:30 pm

I have to admit that I actually liked seeing Aubrey Huff mocking Joba Chamberlain’s fist-pumping antics after he blasted a home run off Joba on Sunday.  I for one am terribly old school when it comes to all the “Look at me, I am the greatest” theatrics that have become so popular in the NFL and the NBA, and would like to see that crap nipped in the bud before it becomes fashionable in baseball.  To me, there’s nothing more intimidating than an athlete making a great play and then doing absolutely nothing other than getting ready for the next play.  The message that sends is that great plays are what that person expects to make.  They are the norm, nothing to celebrate.  And that is impressive.  As the old saying goes, “Act like you have been there before.”

Baseball right now is about the last sport left where these celebrations are still very much the exception and not the rule.  When Mariano Rivera gets a key strike out in the ninth, you don’t see him pumping his fist.  He just takes the ball from the catcher and gets ready to pitch to the next batter.  Nothing special there — that’s what he does, that’s what makes him the best.  No need for celebration — he’s just doing his job.  Same way when Jorge Posada blasts a home run.  He trots around the bases and heads back to the dugout.  No fancy dances, no chest pumping.  When Derek Jeter makes a diving leap to catch a line drive, he just gets up and dusts himself off and throws the ball around the infield.  He expects himself to make those types of plays, so nothing to get excited about.  That’s the way the game is supposed to be played.  The fans can go as crazy as they want, that’s what they are paying to see.  But the players?  That’s what is expected of them.  For what the players are paid, they sure as hell better make some great plays.

Alas, I know I’m in the minority here and the times, they are a-changing.  But I would like to think that the Yankees, of all teams, are above this type of clownish behavior.  Let the morons like Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez embarass themselves all they want.  Just because they are doing this crap is no excuse for us to follow suit.  We are the Yankees, we are better than the rest.

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