Letters to the Editor

Bad example

For aficionados of “America’s Pastime” the cool fall weather not only brings pumpkins but major league baseball playoffs. Speaking of pumpkins, a recent buzz on sports radio and TV has centered on an incident that occurred in Toronto where a Blue Jay batter unceremoniously “flipped” his bat after hitting a game-winning home run.

The event set off a firestorm of discussion as to whether such antics are good for baseball and serve to spur interest, especially from the younger crowd.

I didn’t see the event when it happened but have reviewed the video. Unlike the youthful glee and enthusiasm you might expect from the “Boys of Summer,” this hitter is a prime candidate for an anger management class.

Like it or not, major leaguers are role models for our baseball playing youth. I’d hate to see a player at the college or Little League world series modeling that kind of behavior.

I may be “old school” but I recall instructions from as far back as my pre-Little League days: “Don’t throw your bat.” That was more driven by safety rather than ego concerns but it stuck with me.

Had a player shown that kind of showmanship in a football game at most any level he would have likely been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Like the umpire proclaims at the beginning of the game, “play ball,” pro players should focus on that and save bad behavior for when the cameras and millions of fans are not watching.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon