“So I was saying before that, on a 10-1 score, Benintendi took off to run. And stole a base. I found that unusual, but you know, you can still keep pushing the envelope. But boy, swinging 3-0 in the seventh with a 10-1 lead. There used to be a book. There’s no book anymore. Everything’s gray. But I would find that offensive, personally.”
– Ron Darling on Benintendi swinging with a 3-0 count and a 10-1 lead
I’m not going to go too into this because the “old baseball media guys whining about the ‘unwritten rules’ are dumb” is a storyline that is beaten to death. They’re the last t-rex left on earth screaming, “I’m going to survive! The way I’m doing it is the right way!” and they’ll soon be extinct and their theory that they’re smart will be proven false, absolutely.
However, this shit is so goddamn tired. You’re on a national baseball broadcast, quit whining like a grandfather in the little league stands. Because guess what? Even if this was a little league game it wouldn’t have been called at that point! Even if the Red Sox and Yankees were comprised of 12 year olds rather than handsomely paid professional athletes Benintendi would’ve still been up there, and his job would’ve still been to get on base. Should he have stepped in the box without a bat, only to be beaned because that is also disrespectful? No, he had a bat in his hand and that bat is supposed to be used, so he used it. Yes, a nine run lead is a big lead. It seems like an insurmountable one, but the last time these teams played in the postseason one had a 3-0 series lead and many folks deemed that insurmountable as well. Nothing is safe in the playoffs and the only way to guarantee victory is to keep your foot on the gas. Claiming that a pro trying to win a baseball game is offensive is such loser bullshit.
You know what I find offensive? Pros getting in bar fights with security guards and resisting arrest the night before a game, as Darling did with some Mets teammates in 1986 (tbh I don’t even find that offensive, I’m just proving a point). Or pros starting food fights on team planes, like the 1986 Mets also did, along with a well known list of other things such as cocaine (again, I don’t even really find that offensive, just still proving a point). But this is what always happens with the media members of yesteryear: they remember the “good ol days,” back when players got a ball thrown at their head because they had the audacity to play baseball and have fun doing it, when in reality they were the ones who were shitheads. Most guys in the league today treat it like a job, and try to play to the best of their ability while they’re on the clock, then go home and study tape of tomorrow’s starter, instead of getting in a bar fight. But they’re the ones who are offensive because they play like the game isn’t over until it’s over.