Everyone’s got an opinion about it.
Top of the 8th, up by 7, and the count is 3-0.
MLB’s rising star Fernando Tatis Jr. cranked a grand slam over the right field fence and ignited a firestorm that has everyone talking.
21-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr. is a rising star in the big leagues, leading the MLB in home runs this season after his performance on Monday.
To say the young San Diego Padres shortstop had a big night is an understatement.
With a three-run homerun in the top of the 7th, Tatis swung on a 3-0 fastball from Rangers’ Juan Nicasio and wound up with a grand slam.
Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a grand slam on a 3-0 count with a big lead, leading to criticism from both managers.
What do you think about this unwritten rule in baseball?
🎥 @MLB #PadresTwitterpic.twitter.com/55rX1bL4Qm
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 18, 2020
The incredible feat made him the youngest player to drive in seven RBI’s since Chicago Cubs Ron Santo did it back in 1961, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
But it wasn’t without its controversy.
Immediately after the game both managers criticized Tatis for breaking an “unwritten rule” of baseball – that it wasn’t “sporting” of him to swing on a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded and his team sitting on a seven run lead in the top of the 8th.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler was miffed Tatis “missed” (re: ignored?) a sign from his coach to take the pitch.
Tingler saying he’d rather his own player take a strike than hit a grand slam holy shit what a dumb soft sport baseball can be sometimes. Constantly caught in its feelings. pic.twitter.com/58R1xRZ3m0
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 18, 2020
Rangers manager Chris Woodward complained to reporters, “There’s a lot of unwritten rules that are constantly being challenged in today’s game. I didn’t like it, personally. You’re up by seven in the eighth inning; it’s typically not a good time to swing 3–0. It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis, so—just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right.”
Woodward’s not wrong. The game is changing.
And the truth is, the old school ethic of not running up the score isn’t really valued in sports like it used to be – even in baseball.
But current players, commentators, and many fans want to make it more “fun” – i.e. hitting home runs, grand slams, etc.
It’s easy to see both sides to this argument and it seems everyone’s got an opinion.
Fernando Tatis Jr. swung 3-0 and hit a grand slam with the #Padres ahead by seven runs – the largest lead since pinch count data has been available for a player to hit a 3-0 grand slam… and it was awesome.
Previously: Evan Gattis on May 22, 2013, with the Braves up by four.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) August 18, 2020
Including Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson, who congratulated Tatis.
Fernando Tatis keep playing hard and playing great, it’s a pleasure to watch you play, love your success and the Padres rise to be a winner. Keep leading the way. It ain’t easy to hit Hrs. Keep bringing energy you have to the game, we need players like you. An All Star
— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober) August 18, 2020
The Binger Banger Johnny Bench also chimed in showing his support for Tatis and explaining how taking that pitch could’ve easily backfired on the young athlete.
“So you take a pitch . . . now you’re 3-1. Then the pitcher comes back with a great setup pitch…3-2. Now you’re ready to groundout into a double play. Everyone should hit 3-0. Grand Slams are a huge stat. @tatis_jr”
Of course, not everyone sees it that way as the discussion on MLB Network show . . .
#MLBCentral dives in to the controversy around Fernando Tatis Jr.'s 3-0 swing last night. pic.twitter.com/aplKPdbw8r
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 18, 2020
I found someone who has a problem with Fernando Tatis Jr. swinging on a 3-0 pitch last night: Christoper "The Contrarian" Russo. pic.twitter.com/sOhacuzrOy
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) August 18, 2020
Our Sports with Balls team of experts had differing opinions as well, so we’d like to hear from you.
Please vote in the poll below to let us know where you stand! Also, let us know your thoughts on Twitter @SportswBalls.
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