People like sports, both playing them and watching them, because they like competition. People especially like action.
A leveling hit in football, a monster dunk in basketball, a grand slam in baseball – all of these are things that pump up not the teams but everybody watching it as well.
So with this fascination of cut-throat competition and this desire for action, it comes as no surprise that people, myself included, are loving this fiery, scrappy (defending America League Champion) Royals team.
The Royals are third in MLB as far as winning percentage, but they took first in another category.
Number of ejections.
These nine ejections took place over two games and included not only players but coaches as well, including manager Ned Yost.
Pitcher Yordano Ventura was thrown out of both games, after allegedly intentionally beaming an Oakland A’s batter with a 99 mile per hour fastball, and again after instigating the bench-clearing brawl between the Royals and the White Sox.
While it’s always nice to see sportsmanship and everybody patting each other on the back because it’s all just fun and games, sometimes it’s fun to see some passion in sports. Clearing the benches epitomizes that passion in any given sport.
Between America’s three most popular sports – football, basketball and baseball – baseball has the least physical contact between players. So it’s refreshing to see some of that pushing and shoving in a game in which that doesn’t occur as often.
The throwing of punches is a little different. While it might be exciting, it is a little too much. If a person did that anywhere other than a sports venue, he or she would be arrested.
But on the other hand, there is a sport that is nothing but punching. So from a spectator’s point of view and as someone who grew up playing competitive sports year-round, seeing the punching and just that level of escalation in general is exciting, as long as nobody ends up in the hospital.
I don’t know what is said in the clubhouse after games like that with Oakland and Chicago, but I feel with Kansas City having been such underdogs last fall to go to game seven of the World Series has given them a huge chip on their shoulder.
And honestly, after all they overcame, they deserve it.
And, of course, the “extracurricular activity” that the Royals have been participating in have not come without consequences. Other than the ejections, there have been issued multiple suspensions, including a 7-game suspension for Ventura, and plenty of fines to go around.
But at the end of the day, no one was critically injured in the fight with the White Sox and those involved are being disciplined. MLB is not little league where you go to make friends and get a trophy for trying. MLB is a huge organization built around competition, so with all of this in mind, I don’t have a problem with a brawl time to time. Professional sports are meant to be highly competitive and that type of mindset inevitably leads to high emotions – something a few of the suspended Royals players said led to their actions – and as a result fights occur. But that is simply the nature of it.
Teams leaving the benches to fight is nothing new, but it does seem to be new with the Royals, and that is the intriguing part: seeing our Royals show fire.
After all, this is all in the entertainment business.