Take heed, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers. The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals ruined a perfectly good World Series last night by manufacturing a controversy that the media (me included, I guess) ran with after the game was over.
"“Not surprisingly, the Royals were angry about the first pitch of the game, up and in to [Alcides] Escobar.”"
This is exasperating. Major League Baseball can nip this kind of thing in the bud by banning all pitches
(even so-called accidental ones) that fly above the shoulder and inside the plate. I am no Major League pitcher. I have no idea whether they’re even capable of messing up that bad with their location. But I’d bet a majority of those pitches, including Noah Syndergaard‘s, are thrown with purpose. He admitted as much after the game.
That was Syndergaard’s four-seam fastball, the one he throws in the high 90s with regularity. So forget the argument that the pitch wasn’t close enough to warrant the Royals’ ire. Face it, if a Noah Syndergaard fastball was anywhere near our heads, we’d freak out.
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In fact, if that pitch hits anyone in the head — including those wearing state-of-the-art helmets designed to withstand that kind of impact (Ha! I couldn’t resist …) — their careers would be in jeopardy. As we’ve learned from football, and even baseball and the unlucky souls who have been plunked upstairs, resulting concussions can alter a man’s life, nevermind his career.
The worst thing about the Syndergaard pitch is that now it becomes a World Series narrative. Something
Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar got back in the box after Noah Syndergaard threw at him. I wouldn’t have. Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
for the always awful Harold Reynolds to drone on about between pitches. Undoubtedly, Royals Game Four starter Chris Young will throw at one of the Mets. Hopefully, not David Wright, because he wore that ridiculously giant helmet for a reason. Then, there will be a bench-clearing scene where much pushing and shoving will occur but nothing more.
Hopefully, that will be the end of it. But I think it will also be the end of the Mets, who will probably get all
emotional and get away from what they did to win Game 3. They will be distracted from whatever finally got their bats going. One thing I do know? It wasn’t Syndergaard’s purpose pitch.