Seattle Mariners: Griffey’s narration sends important message
“No more talk. Let the kids play.”
Seattle Mariners legend and baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. joined the MLB in its promotion for the upcoming postseason. In a trailer that only lasts a minute, Griffey’s narration shuts down the widespread dislike of celebrations from “baseball purists,” specifically bat flips.
Echoing over the highlights from all 10 playoff teams, in which they celebrate various walk-offs, go-ahead homers, and big plays, Griffey’s voice empowers the new generation of baseball talent to simply have fun. I mean, that’s what games are usually intended for — having fun. Last time I checked, baseball is a game.
It’s no coincidence that such a message would be conveyed from “The Kid” himself, a generational talent who helped bridge the gap to the new generation of Major League Baseball.
It’s an important message at that. This season, players have been scrutinized over simple displays of excitement, such as a bat flip, hopping the dugout fence, or watching a ball leave the park. To some, these acts are “ruining the game of baseball.”
Oakland’s Mark Canha and Chicago Cubs utility man David Bote were both under fire for their actions in walk-off wins this season. Bote went on to apologize for his bat flip that came after the rookie slugged a game-winning grand slam against the Washington Nationals. It was completely unnecessary and one of the more asinine moments of the season.
Anyone with even a speck of common sense should recognize that celebrating only makes the product of baseball better. Seeing emotion come out of players in clutch moments, joining their teammates and fanbase in jubilation, is the most authentic thing you could ask for. These players are not emotionless robots; they’re humans who have dreamed of moments like these since they were children.
I understand how it can be seen as a form of taunting, but that’s often not what drives these actions. It’s purely emotion and it’s absolutely beautiful. Emotions will never be higher for players each and every October. Now nine months into the season, a championship is within reach. Yeah, I don’t blame a player for being excited about every single positive moment.
When Major League Baseball itself is asking its players to “rewrite the rules” of celebration, therefore encouraging them to fully and freely express themselves, it should go without saying that anyone stuck in the mindset of “keeping the league pure” is a total moron.
Griffey played the game of baseball the right way, by having fun. He made the game better. Players like Francisco Lindor, Giancarlo Stanton, Ronald Acuña, and Yasiel Puig make the game better. “Baseball purists” think they’re making the game better when they’re they actually trying — and failing — to make it far, far worse.
Keep in mind, these are the same people that think Edgar Martínez shouldn’t be allowed in the Hall of Fame because he was a designated hitter. Yet, they simultaneously say that David Ortiz will be a first-ballot inductee despite also being a DH, which, um… what? These are the kind of illogical individuals we’re dealing with here, and unfortunately, there are enough of them to actually warrant a response.
Simply put, there are plenty of things in the world to take issue with. This isn’t one of them.
Just let baseball be fun.