Cheap Seats

Dodgers, Astros bratty behavior detracting from an otherwise spectacular World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros have a lot of great players and truly deserve to be in the World Series.

But it’s a shame that their players don’t let their fielding, hitting and pitching speak for them. Because this has to be the biggest collection of hot dogs ever to assemble on one field.

I’m all for players having a good time and displaying genuine excitement. But it seems to go a little bit over the line when the Dodgers hit a home run and then bounce around the bases like an over-sugared second-grader.

Then Cody Bellinger took things even farther when he shushed the Houston crowd after hitting a three-run homer to break a freshly tied game. This from a guy who raised his World Series batting average to a robust .167 with the blast.

On the other side of the diamond, Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel posed at the plate after he hit the home run to break the tie in the previous half-inning. He looked into his dugout with a blank expression on his face to show up Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw by implying that his feat was no big deal. I can’t believe a guy who was exposed earlier in the series for making a racist gesture toward a Dodgers player wouldn’t be interested in keeping something of a lower profile.

Gurriel should have been suspended for the rest of the Fall Classic for what he did. Instead, the commissioner’s office released a statement saying that he would be suspended in the spring because the commissioner didn’t want such a move to affect the outcome of the World Series. That’s a copout and an embarrassment to the game. Gurriel’s not a dumb kid who didn’t realize what he did was wrong. He’s 33 years old and ought to know better.

The juvenile behavior of some of the players is a shame because this has been a very exciting finale to the baseball season. These are two talent-laden teams that play baseball at the highest level with dominating pitching, timely hitting and excellent, confident and aggressive defense. Throw in the fact that Los Angeles plays in a pitcher-friendly ballpark and the Astros play in a launching pad and you have an interesting contrast rarely seen in the days when the line between the leagues is blurred by interleague play.

It seemed like few prognosticators gave Houston much of a chance to compete with the expensive Dodgers roster. But the Astros have given Los Angeles all it can handle in a series full of back-and-forth, close games. I wish the St. Louis Cardinals were here, especially since photos from the 2006, 2011 and 2013 World Series have been popping up in my social media feed the past few days. But it’s probably a good thing, in a time when the National Football League is dealing with one public relations black eye after another, to have an exciting series hosted by two of the biggest markets in the United States.

Hopefully, the Cardinals can continue to incorporate talented young players like Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader and Alex Reyes into their mix to join these deeply talented teams in the postseason in 2018. Seeing these two heavyweights slug it out for the world championship certainly shows us that the Birds have to up their game — big-time — to get back among the elite clubs.