Angel Pagan didn’t want to step in somebody’s discarded gum, so he snatched it from the batter’s box and tossed it backward … directly at Padres catcher Derek Norris. Norris was not pleased. Words ensued. (Watch it here.)
- Who wants to step in another person’s gum? Pagan said later that he was not trying to hit Norris, although he exercised less-than-elegant aim.
- Norris got upset, but it wasn’t like Pagan went all Marichal on his ass. It was gum.
- A quick “Whups, my bad” by Pagan could have gone a long way toward general amelioration.
- These are the same basic lessons we teach our second graders.
Case in point:
The real reason the incident merits attention in this space, however, has nothing to do with playground etiquette. The real reason this incident merits attention in this space is that Padres closer Craig Kimbrel, on the mound at the time, used it as a teachable moment, sending his very next pitch up and in on the hitter.
The takeaway: Pitchers are the schoolyard equivalent of a cross between bully and principal. Kimbrel’s fastball was effectively a timeout levied upon Pagan for behavior unbecoming a big leaguer. Or an 8-year-old. Don’t let it happen again. Next time: detention.