Daily Archives: June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012

Chapmans’ flip just silly, not shameful

By now most every knows about Aroldis Chapman’s victorious somersaults after his save last night (if you haven’t seen it yet, there’s video here). It’s been one of the more interesting things to happen this season, and there’s been a consummate amount of discussion about it.

A vocal minority have got their feathers all ruffled, concerned that he could have hurt himself (toddlers manage to do somersaults without hurting themselves), he’s showing up the other team (showing up the Brewers?), or he’s breaking the unwritten rules of baseball (there’s a reason they’re not written down).

But the majority of the commentary I’m seeing is saying things like:

  • How is this different than fireworks, fist pumps, or jumping on the plate after a walk-off homer?
  • In any other sport, this would be the mildest of celebrations. Maybe baseball should take a deep breath here.
  • Why does a double forward roll after a save get Chapman a severe talking to, but a backflip gets Ozzie Smith a Pepsi commercial? (That one was just me, but I thought it was a good enough line to use again.)

Even the Brewers don’t seem to much care, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a retribution HBP this afternoon. And that’s OK, too: all the guys in the line-up are grown-ass men. They can take a fastball to the haunch and live to tell the tale.

While I’m firmly in the stuff-like-this-makes-baseball-human-and-fun camp, I’ll admit that I was a little embarrassed on Chapman’s behalf when I saw that tumbling run. Not only did it bring to mind a pre-schooler yelling “look at what I can do!” but somersaults just aren’t sexy moves. It’s all butt in the air, ending up in the dirt. Someone needs to teach this guy a good round-off.

On the other hand, if the move was inspired by Carlos Gomez’s somersaults last year, that makes Chapman’s choice of acrobatics at least make a little more sense:

What does seriously concern me is the “talking to” that Chapman received after the game. Different sources have said that at least Bryan Price, Jay Bruce, and Joey Votto gave him an earful, and I don’t know what they said, but it left Chapman crushed and unable to even speak to reporters about it. It completely robbed him of the joy of his excellent performance.

This surprises me. Dusty Baker has many, many, many faults, but he is universally known as a player’s manager. To let Chapman be shamed like this is unnecessary, and it’s terrible management. This didn’t have to be traumatic to be a learning opportunity. If I were Chapman, I might never smile again if my team treated me like that. At least, not till I was traded, and I’d rather not see that happen to Chapman.

If it were me, I’d just tell Chapman, “hey, maybe try something a little more dignified next time” and see about getting this song on the play list for some time during today’s game.

June 27, 2012

Game 73: Brewers 3, Reds 4

W: Marshall (2-3) L: Axford (1-5) S: Chapman (9)


It was a crazy game yesterday and the Reds ended up with the win over the Brewers, 3-4.

It was almost a no-hit performance for starter Bronson Arroyo, but then the eighth inning happened. Until then, the only baserunner he’d allowed was Ryan Braun whom he’d hit with a pitch with 2 outs in the first inning. Next Aramis Ramirez flied out and stranded him, though, so it was all good.

Arroyo started out the eighth by striking out Travis Ishikawa, but then gave up a walk to George Kottaras and a double to Taylor Green. Corey Hart doubled to bring in two runs and an out later, Norichika Aoki singled in Hart and that’s all there was for Arroyo. What began as a stellar start still looked pretty good by the time it was all done: 7.2 innings pitched, 3 runs (earned) on 3 hits and a walk. No home runs allowed.

Sean Marshall finished out the eighth and Aroldis Chapman shut ’em down in the ninth. So excited was Chapman not to have blown a save for a change that he promptly did a couple somersaults while walking toward the plate, which has some people’s panties in a bunch. Myself, I don’t mind the exuberance, but I think he could have done a cooler tumbling run. I’d only give it a 5.5.

The Reds’ scoring came primarily in the sixth inning when Joey Votto doubled, Brandon Phillips singled, and Jay Bruce homered, bringing them all in. After the Brewers tied it up in the top of the eighth, Drew Stubbs untied it with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning, which turned out to be the winning run.

The win brings the Reds’ record to 41-32. The Cardinals won last night and the Pirates lost, so while the Reds maintain their 2.0 game lead in the central, the second place title now belongs solely to the Cardinals. With the Reds about to head out on the notoriously brutal west coast road trip, the Cardinals may well be challenging for first by the time the two teams meet in the first series after the All-Star Break.

The Reds and Brewers finish off the series today at 12:35 p.m. in GABP. The Reds are hoping for a sweep, but it won’t be an easy one. Zack Greinke (8-2, 2.81 ERA) takes on Homer Bailey (5-5, 4.20 ERA).

June 27, 2012

Daily Brief: Forever to be known as ‘A-roll-dis’

Last Game
After two series losses in a row, the Reds finally ensured a series victory last night by beating the Brewers 3-4 in the second game. Bronson Arroyo had a no-hitter through seven and a third but still got a no-decision when he suddenly lost his magic and let the Brewers tie it up in the eighth.

Fortunately, Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman were able to hold the Brew Crew back long enough to make Drew Stubbs’ home run in the bottom of the eighth into the winning run.

Next Game
The brooms are in hand as the team goes for the sweep this afternoon. It won’t be a walk in the park though; Homer Bailey (5-5, 4.20 ERA) takes on Zack Greinke (8-2, 2.81 ERA). Greinke is actually on a hotter streak than that even with a 1.46 ERA over his last 5 starts.

Let Me See that Tootsee Roll
Before last night, Aroldis Chapman had blown his last two save opportunities, making himself (specifically, the suitability of his particular talents to the closer role) the primary topic of conversation among Reds fans.

So, you’d expect him to be excited when he shut down the Brewers to protect the 1-run lead in the ninth inning. But did you expect him to do two forward rolls in exuberant celebration?

Dusty Baker wasn’t that excited about the demonstration of human emotion, saying, “I know he was happy, especially after that bad week, but we don’t play like that.” And some of the other players weren’t so keen on it either. Brandon Phillips said in a tweet “Great all around W tonight except for the 2 front roll flips at the end, but at least he didn’t get hurt!”

Fans are either saying, “so what? he was excited,” or “he’s broken the unwritten rules by showing up the other team and brought down the wrath of the baseball gods upon us!” It’s probably true that the Brewers will hit someone during today’s game in retribution for “being shown up” even though even they must surely realize those flips had everything to do with Chapman and nothing to do with them. With their 33-41 record and fourth-place position in the NLC, frankly, the Brewers aren’t worth showing up.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Today’s pitcher, Homer Bailey, has been the victim of the most blown saves this season with 3. If he can get the win tomorrow, maybe he’ll be doing cartwheels.