Cincinnati Reds’ slugger Derek Dietrich has proven himself to be a fun-loving, talent who enjoys playing the game of baseball. That’s something that should be celebrated, not vilified.
Derek Dietrich went yard last night, and as he’s done previously, took a few extra seconds to admire his big fly that almost went out of Great American Ball Park. Dietrich’s brought a bit of flare to the Cincinnati Reds that the team hasn’t seen since Brandon Phillips was manning second base. Dietrich’s celebrations and attitude should be cheered not vilified.
Kevin Gorman of Tribune-Review Sports sent out a tweet last night saying that an opposing pitcher purposefully throwing at a batter is justified because the type of reaction Derek Dietrich had to his gargantuan home run is inappropriate. He then went on to say that because the Reds are in last place, such celebrations shouldn’t be acceptable either.
I’m sorry, but if that’s your take, you and I aren’t watching the same game. First, Major League Baseball’s ad campaign of “Let The Kids Play” is pretty much encouraging this type of celebration. The league is looking for players to have a little edge and show a little emotion. In today’s day of social media, that’s what gets people talking.
Second, the fact that Cincinnati is in last place in the NL Central should have no bearing on anyone’s ability to celebrate an accomplishment. I’ll be the first to tell you that prefer a team celebration to self-promotion any day, but I’m not going to let the team’s position in the standings affect my opinion about a player’s decision to celebrate.
Derek Dietrich has quickly become one of the favorite players on this year’s Cincinnati Reds’ team. His Opening Day home run and curtain call, against the same Pittsburgh Pirates the Reds played last night, quickly endeared Dietrich with the Reds’ faithful. His penchant for harmlessly eccentric acts has only increased his fanbase.
Dietrich had some fun with the eye-black during May 5th’s home game against the San Francisco Giants. Dietrich painted a mustache to go along with the 1911 throwback uniforms the Cincinnati Reds were wearing that day.
Dietrich grabbed a white shirt from the clubhouse and pump sprayer in order to look like an exterminator when a swarm of bees invaded Great American Ball Park. The next day, following a problem with the stadium lights in Oakland, Dietrich took on the role of an electrician, hilariously dressing up like a handyman in order to fix the lighting problem at the Coliseum.
Derek Dietrich is just out there having a good time. He’s not hurting anyone and if a pitcher who gives up a round tripper to Dietrich doesn’t like it when the Reds’ slugger takes a couple extra seconds to stare down a home run, throw a better pitch.
Baseball is supposed to be fun! It’s a game that we all grew up either watching or playing as kids. Let’s get past these unwritten rules of the game and get back to enjoying the show that these highly-talented athletes produce every night. I hope Derek Dietrich goes yard again tonight.