hunter strickland is a dab
DAB stands for “dumb ass bitch.” And here’s why.
In the middle of heating up the broth for my matzah ball soup I turned to the Giants game on ESPN. Thankfully the game was broadcast on a national network, otherwise I would’ve missed the impending drama. I must have looked away for a split second, because the next thing I saw was Bryce Harper charging the mound. Okay, wait a second. Time to rewind (gotta love DVR, am I right?). I saw what kicked the whole thing off – Hunter Strickland pegging Harper in the thigh.
Rewind two and half years to the 2014 postseason, Giants vs. Nationals. Twice Strickland gave up moonshot homers to Harper. I can remember the scenario pretty clearly. I believe Strickland was a recent call-up, a rookie at the least, known for his heater – fastball. We already know who Harper was (and still is) at that time – one of the two best position players in the game. The first homer Harper hit was a grand-slam, and what I mean by that is it was a helluva shot. It wasn’t a four-run homer, as is a grand slam, but it was one grand-slam of a home run, where grand and slam are perhaps the most accurate description of the home run. I mean, that first homer was so big, it was yuuuuuge (Trump voice and hand-gestures) that when the two met again I had a feeling history would repeat itself. When it did, I was pretty upset at Strickland. Both pitches were right down broadway and, as if Harper needed any extra help, Strickland’s powerball provides the hitter with a good deal of assistance if you hit it on the sweet-spot. Two at-bats, two monumental homers. Harper showboated a bit, but can you blame the guy? The camera’s caught Strickland cursing (as I believe I was doing simultaneously), and so goes my first impression of him.
Back to the present…these two guys haven’t faced each other since. They both have good memories, they know how their last two meetings went down. And now here they are facing each other for the first time in two and a half years. Okay…Now, if you were Strickland, wouldn’t you want to actually, you know, get Harper out? How does hitting him with a fastball show that you’re better than him? Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t one of the more interesting aspects of baseball the fact that a pitcher can allow a home run to a hitter in one at-bat, then strike him out the next time he comes up? Wouldn’t you want to say, as a pitcher, “yeah, you got me on that first one, but I made you look silly the next time”? That’s what I would want to do if I were in Strickland’s position. “You really got me on those first two, bro/man/dude/brah. But don’t think I can’t show you a thing or two myself.” That same reasoning is why I don’t care if guys do a bat-flip after hitting one out of the park. They won the battle. They get to decide how they want to celebrate (there’s too much consideration for the loser when it comes to celebrations…when did people decide to take the loser into consideration after a win?). To all pitchers out there – if you don’t like the post-homer show, don’t give up the long-ball. You have degrees of power to keep the ball in the yard. Do your job and get the guy out. It’s that simple.
After the game, I listened to the KNBR postgame show as I’ve done regularly this season (what a season I actually chose to care about in May). In their postgame interviews both Buster Posey and Strickland said the pitch was supposed to be a fastball in. Okaaaaayyyy, sure. I mean, what else would you expect either of them to say?
Instead, Strickland took the lesser-man route. Posey didn’t seem all too thrilled with the choice. Nor did Madison Bumgarner, who walked in to the clubhouse once he saw what was about to go down. I’m sure Posey wished he was in the dugout too, so he could follow suit. I wasn’t a fan of Strickland’s choice either, but I wanted him to win the fight. And I thought he did, until I saw the replay. A caller phoned in to Marty Lurie, a fellow Alex, and said both guys took punches to the face. Uhmm, no. Strickland caught Harper with an open-handed slap, and I don’t think I’m splitting hairs here when I say that isn’t the same as a punch. It was Harper who actually landed a right jab (or maybe it was a hook?) flush in the middle of Strickland’s face.
Another caller described the fight as “gratuitous violence” yet went on to say he thought Harper had it coming to him. Really now? C’mon people…talk about hypocrisy. A-it wasn’t gratuitous. I mean, has he ever turned on the nightly news? And B-how are you going to say you thought it was so over-the-top violent but condone the preceding and provoking action at the same time? All that is, is some real salty hate disguised as “respect for the game.” In other words, Strickland was just following the same unwritten code that Harper has been actively trying to tear down for the entirety of his career, and he got what was coming to him. What, just because the guy has fun playing baseball? Anyone who watched the World Baseball Classic or listened to sports radio might’ve heard American players criticize the way foreigners (mainly Hispanics) play the game. What’s the main difference? The foreign dudes look like they have fun when they play. The American guys take it way too serious. I think they should take a cultural page out of the Hispanic’s book and have some more fun. And they wonder why baseball struggles with the younger crowd…
The same guy who thought the dust-up was “gratuitous” said the fight was just what the Giants needed to get fired up. Yea, just what they needed. Meanwhile, the Giants lost 3-0. What they need is more runs. It’s pretty simple.
As for Harper, he’s now 3-3 against Strickland with three hard shots.