I’ve spent the past couple days discussing head-high fastballs served up by Reds pitchers, and their opponents’ various responses. Before letting go of the topic, however, it’s worth one more post to point out the excellent take of Cincinnati Enquirer writer C. Trent Rosecrans.
For all the attention paid to Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman, Rosecrans took the time to compare the reactions of the aggrieved—those players whose heads were at the wrong end of said pitchers’ respective fastballs—and what it says about them as players.
On one hand are the Cubs: pitcher Matt Garza (who started opposite Cueto on Sunday), as well as David DeJesus (who had to duck under a Cueto fastball) and Alfonso Soriano (who chimed in later).
On the other are Nick Swisher (who had to avoid a Champman fastball on Monday) and Jason Giambi (who stood up for Swisher afterward).
Measure Garza’s reaction and grandstanding to how Swisher and Giambi handled the situation. Let’s just say there’s a reason Garza has the reputation he has and Giambi and Swisher are nearly universally respected.
Also see how the Cubs’ David DeJesus and Alfonso Soriano responded on Monday. Both took the high road while still backing their own guy. There’s a lot to be learned there about how you react and what you do in public.
As for [Dusty] Baker, well, he successfully took the spotlight off of Cueto and put it on himself — that’s something that gets respect from players. … I wouldn’t be surprised if Giambi and Swisher talked to Joey Votto or Jay Bruce today, or maybe even Chapman. They won’t make a show of it, they’ll do it properly, out of sight and out of the media eye. That’s the way the unwritten rules are passed along, as they should be.
Which cuts exactly to the point. The basis of the Code is not grandstanding or violence or intimidation. It’s respect, earned through one’s actions. Handle your business properly, and good things will follow.