For Part One of the series, I looked at the Neighborhood Play. For Part Two I looked at the Strike Zone. For an encore? Part Three is about the simple yet controversial fist pump.
I can’t tell you how much it frustrates me when guys like Joba or Cervelil are criticized for pumping their fists. For all the toughness baseball guys are supposed to have, they really do complain a lot about little things. So they get a big strikeout and pump their fist. Nobody’s complaining when the batter jumps into a circle of teammates if he hits a walkoff homer instead.
It especially irks me when teams like the Mets criticize Cervelli. Jose Reyes says hi. So does K-Rod. So does…well, you get it.
It also irks me when guys like Goose Gossage criticize Joba for it. Joba is not the Goose, and Goose, while still a fan favorite, can really sound like a complainer (about steroids, fist pumps, etc.). It’s a different age, and guys like to pump their fists. It’s not a big deal. It’s human emotion.
Now there is a time when the fist pump bothers me. Remember Jose Valverde pumping his fist and dancing around after every strike against the Yanks? That’s excessive. Then it’s no longer pure emotion, and it’s unnecessary and annoying. And I don’t really think it’s sour grapes on my part. It’s just annoying.
My suggestion? People should stop complaining about it. Every major league team has guys who pump their fists. People get on Joba’s back for it, yet when Jeter does it, it’s just the captain being the captain. So people should stop making noise about it. Honestly, it’s pretty silly already.