Boys Will Be Boys, But This Takes Things to a Whole New Level


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.)

Some points:

  • 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.

7 thoughts on “Boys Will Be Boys, But This Takes Things to a Whole New Level

  1. And after Kimbrel left Pagan stranded at third, he let him know what a death stare is. In all, I thought Norris and Kimbrel behaved pretty well. We all know Pagan can rub people the wrong way. It was nice to see Kimbrel stand up for Norris – they’ve only been teammates for 2 days!

    1. By dint of their job descriptions, closers — who only come in late in close games — rarely feel the need to drill an opponent. Kimbrel’s methodology, however, is unimpeachable. No better way to earn respect among a roomful of new peers.

  2. First, I’m delighted to have you posting regularly. That’s another reason to be glad baseball season has started again. I’m a bit behind on my reading, but I’m catching up.

    More importantly, though, thank you for giving us the phrase “to go all Marichal on [one’s] ass.” Brilliant.

    1. Thanks. Since then I’ve heard (though not confirmed) that it was Norris’ own gum. Gum-gate lives!

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