People are all up in arms about Ryan Braun and his perceived showmanship while hitting home runs. Apparently such baseball luminaries as Buck Schowalter (for ESPN), Mitch Williams (for MLB Network) and Bob Brenly (for WGN) have scolded or chided Braun about antics after hitting big home runs. I didn't see any of the criticism myself, but I'm sure it happened. We also get a Chicago Sun-Times writer calling Braun a showboat in what is purported to be a news story, saying it's no big deal to throw at somebody's head.
Ryan Braun stood for a second watching a home run before beginning his trot! Did you see him low-five the first base coach with his tongue out after hitting a go-ahead home run in the 8th inning! Holy hell! Put a ball between his eyes the next time he's up! We'll handle it the same way it's been handled for 100 years! He's disrespecting the game! Act like you've been there before! What gives him the right to admire a home run! That's reserved for Albert Pujols!
Guess what? Braun couldn't care less about the criticism.
"That's how I live my life," said Braun, who was honored Monday as the National League player of the week. "I live my life in the moment and I think you should enjoy those times.
"I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I'm not going to admire a home run unless it's a big situation. If we're up by a lot or down by a lot, it's not something I'm going to do."
"It's an emotional thing, a passionate thing. It's not a disrespectful thing or showing anybody up. If somebody strikes me out in that situation and they fist pump, I have no problem with it."
"Everybody's entitled to their own opinion," Braun said. "It doesn't bother me. It's not going to change anything I do or factor into how I play the game."
"I'm going to continue to have fun. That's me; that's the way I am. I guess I'm 'new school.' The people I offend are probably more 'old school.' That's fine."
Good for you Ryan. Basically, baseball players and coaches and media types and former players need to freaking relax. Aubrey Huff did a couple of fist pumps after hitting a home run off of Joba Chamberlain last week and took some flack for it. Well, Joba fist pumps after big strikeouts, so Huff had some fun with him. Big deal. Good for him. Relax.
Have some fun in your sport. I would probably hate Ryan Braun if he was on somebody else's team, not because he watches a big home run for an extra second, but because he hit the big home run to begin with. I don't like Alfonso Soriano, but it's not because he hot dogs, it's because he hits big home runs against my favorite team in big spots.