I guess they don’t hit pads in the minors, huh?
I’ve said for years that at some point in his life every man thinks he can rap, and every man thinks he can fight. The usual result is the cold and horrible realization that neither are true and that everything we have been taught since birth is a vile and disgusting lie.
This leads us to the recent dust-up in something called the ML…B? This is purportedly the organization that runs baseball, which I was led from an early age to believe was America’s Passtime™. It’s rather adorable, and perhaps we should refrain from informing baseball that football ate their lunch so that nobody gets their feelings hurt. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before the UFC becomes bigger than soccer. They’re already neck and neck.
Maybe that’s why the MLB is trying to muscle in on the fight game. In a recent game between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals (because of course, the name has to be lame for a DC sports franchise), pitcher Hunter Strickland (great adult film performer stage name) maliciously beaned Bryce Harper (less great adult film performer stage name, still kind of OK), which led to Harper charging the mound with the aim of physical confrontation.
Feast your eyes on this gem:
Please note the use of the term “physical confrontation”, because this isn’t really something that ought to be referred to as a proper fight. Harper whips off his helmet and attempts to toss it towards the pitchers mound. Somehow, the helmet goes flying toward the dugout instead. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the physics glitches from the Fallout series made their way into real life. Harper approaches full of vigor, but the truth is he’s just not good at this. He takes a few shuffle steps to close the distance after negating all momentum he had generated and begins to throw hands. Well, something that comes close to it, at least.
Harper begins to flail at Strickland, swatting at him about 4-5 times until he’s shoved out of the way. The mess further devolves into what appears to be the world’s saddest mosh pit. Both men that started the scuffle are taken off the field by their teammates. While Harper handles it relatively well, Strickland has to almost be carried off the field. Maybe it would have been easier to strap him into a chair and lift him away the way they do at Jewish weddings, because that is fantastic.
While Harper may not have the striking technique of a Carlos Condit or a Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but he may be on to something here. The posturing followed by a similar striking technique has had some success in the past. As for Strickland, there’s not much to say regarding his striking, although his hand traps and parries were acceptable. The real spicy element of his game was his takedown defense, which was A-1 (chef kissing fingers motion). Not bad for guys that don’t appear to have ever traned UFC.
This fracas wasn’t without some benefit. If anything, this further exposes the beautiful hypocrisy of a country that has no problem with showing an all-out on-field riot nonstop on every channel and website, but feels squeamish when trained professionals in a controlled environment have an agreement to fight for a living. One is still held up as a standard when it comes to a sport of gentlemen, while the other gets absurd criticism from people that can’t see past their noses.
Let’s hope they stay with stick and ball sports. If you ever get the itch to watch a clownshoes fight, do yourself a favor and just rewatch Gabi Garcia beating up Yumiko Hotta on a loop.
You’ll get a lot more mileage out of it and the post fight shenanigans are the best.