Tuesday, April 24, 2012

John Kruk and the No-Fun Club

"Uh... I'm a tool? Yeah, that's it. I'm a tool."

I'm sure by now many of you have already read the article from Bob Raissman at NYDailyNews.com, in which Bob goes over John Kruk's negative reaction to how Nick Swisher celebrated after hitting the go-ahead, two-run, double in the 8th inning on Saturday. A hit that completed a historic comeback against the arch-rival Red Sox, in which the Yanks were down 9-0 going into the 6th inning, and down 9-1 going into the 7th. We all remember that game on Saturday, so there's no need to walk you through it again.

Instead let me show you a few of Kruk's quotes, and my reaction to them...
Swisher’s display was more about rubbing it in than anything else. He said he’s not a “big fan” of look-at-me celebrations primarily designed to salt the wound.
For starters, why wouldn't anybody involved with the Yankees not want to rub it in? Red Sox fans were not exactly saying "oh, you poor Yankees" when they were up 9-0 after 5 innings (at least not without a large dose of sarcasm behind the words). They were jumping around and celebrating the trouncing of the hated Bombers. And you know what? Good for them, because if the Yankees were winning by that much against the Sox, and at Yankee Stadium, you can be sure things would have been just as raucous... if not more-so.

Nick is a member of the team, though, and it's not good form to rub it in. I completely understand that. But how was he rubbing it in? After pounding his chest Swisher pointed at the Yankee dugout in celebration. He clearly didn't point at the Red Sox dugout and yell "haha, you guys suck", or something like that. I suppose Swish may have been pointing at the Sox fans sitting behind and around the Yankee dugout, and was laughing at their expense, but I find that really hard to believe. Hell, that's a stretch that even Stretch Armstrong himself couldn't make, and his arm stretches out to next week (Family Guy reference, FTW!).

The fact of the matter is Nick Swisher has never been accused of showing up anybody. He may get overly excited at times, but he's never done so at the expense of the other team. Nick acted no different than I did when I opened up a present on Christmas Day 1998 and it was the Nintendo NES, that came with the Zapper and the combo game of Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. And I don't remember my parents accusing me of showing up my brother and whatever crappy gift he opened at the same time (actually, the Nintendo was for both my brother and I, but you get the point).
“Yeah, Nick, you did your job. That’s what you were expected to do so just accept it and be a little more humble,” said Kruk, in a disgusted tone. “I hear Yankee fans say, ‘Well, that’s Nick. That’s the way he is.’ ”
Guys like Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and others hit home runs all the time, and get well compensated for doing so. And especially when they hit big ones, they get excited about it. But I don't hear Kruk, or any other POS baseball analyst (he's hardly alone in that category), whine that they are just doing their jobs and shouldn't celebrate. And yes, Nick plays the game like a kid, with enthusiasm. That's actually something I'd like to see from more MLB players. It's a game

On a side note, I don't buy into the argument that these guys are getting paid a king's ransom to play a kid's game, as baseball was first played by men... not kids. But I digress...
“I’m not a fan of anyone doing it (showing another team up), it’s not just Nick. I came up in an era if you did do that there is going to be repercussions from the other team. We understood that. . . It is what Nick does,” Kruk continued. “It’s been his thing his whole career at Oakland. Well, (when he was with) the White Sox he didn’t get on base that much so he didn’t do it for the White Sox. I can’t accept what he does as part of the game."
So it's not "part of the game" to have fun? *in a snobby, Ivy League, voice* Baseball is to be taken very seriously, and one should never give people the idea that they are having a good time. *back to my regular sarcastic drone* Get out of here! Nick Swisher plays the game like I wish everybody else did. I don't mean I wish all hitters carried a high on-base percentage, hit 25 or so home runs a year, and had a low batting average. I just want the guys to loosen up and enjoy themselves, and enjoy the fact they get paid a butt-load of money to do something I and millions of others grew up dreaming about. Weren't we all saying ARod needed to, and to some extent still needs to, loosen up?

It all comes down to this for me... if the Sox are more worried about Swish's antics after that go-ahead double, than that epic collapse, they have bigger issues than wondering when they'll be able to retaliate against Nick. Oh, and all those times I wanted to rip off Jonathan Papelbon's head, and spit down his scrawny little neck, I feel justified... thanks Kruky.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)