Umpire Will Little decided to toss everyone the other day for arguing balls and strikes. While it was pretty clear Little had a quick trigger finger, and Stroman was probably just barking to himself, I’m not particularly concerned about the ejections or the calls.
I am concerned about the reactions and how they’ve become common place in baseball.
For the life of me, I’m unable to think of a single profession where pulling a 3:00 AM King Street West Hold Me Back, Bruh is an acceptable way to deal with an authority figure even if that authority figure is both arrogant and incompetent.
Stroman certainly isn’t alone in this tactic, it’s prevalent throughout baseball. The lack of transparency in the institution of umpiring can explain almost all of the anger, but it can’t explain the concept of Hold Me Back, Bruh as a proxy for threatening physical violence.
Even if we were able to eliminate the umpiring issue through transparency and diversity, we’re still dealing with a bunch of alpha males reacting in a fashion that’s somehow applauded in the unwritten rules of baseball. Whether it’s charging the mound, throwing a baseball at another human being on purpose, or a group brawl, somehow physical violence has survived the liberalization of sport.
If an umpire’s defining qualities are often arrogance and incompetence, the closest analogy for you or I would be a boss who’s ascended the corporate ladder as a result of nepotism. While it would be humourous to pull a Hold Me Back, Bruh, I can’t imagine it’d produce the desired results. Instead, we’d probably be without a job and possibly facing assault charges.
The idea that the threat of physical violence from a testosterone-fueled alpha male is somehow an enlightened way to settle a dispute is ridiculous, and I have no idea how it’s managed to survive so long that it’s become normalized in baseball.