In my piece for MASNSports.com today, I re-examined the war of words over the “unwritten rules” of baseball that Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon apparently thought Washington Nationals skipper Davey Johnson broke when Johnson asked for the written rules of baseball to be enforced Tuesday night.
I made a fairly broad criticism of Maddon, concluding that “Maddon went way overboard calling Johnson’s integrity into question.” I used adult words because of my affiliation with MASNSports.com, a reputable media organization, which also happens to be the rightsholder for Nats baseball. I did not want to appear unprofessional in that format.
What I wanted to say is that Joe Maddon is a crybaby and should stick to cultivating his whole modern baseball guru schtick in more appropriate manners.
Maddon had the duty to protect his player, Joel Peralta, a highly valuable set-up man in his bullpen (who, by the way, is having a remarkable — and now called into question – late-career surge). But he should have stopped there. Calling Davey Johnson out and shifting the blame to the Nats when HIS GUY CHEATED AND GOT CAUGHT is ridiculous.
This whole debate over the unwritten rules makes Maddon look petty, churlish and, frankly, silly.
Of course, Davey had to respond since his integrity was called into question. The name-calling just isn’t dignified for either of them.
But my biggest peeve of the whole thing was Maddon’s quote about how Peralta would now “be vilified” for his actions and shifting the blame to Johnson and whoever the rat was on the Nats that gave Davey the inside information. Whatever happened to taking your medicine like a man and assuming responsibility for your actions?
Peralta knew what he was doing was cheating. He knew that many in the Nats clubhouse knew what he was doing. Heck, many of them probably are too. But the first unwritten rule about cheating is that if you know someone else knows you’re doing it, you don’t do it against them. Peralta was not only guilty of cheating, but of being careless and dumb about the whole thing as well.
But please do visit MASNSports.com today to read my original piece. It’s much more mature than these paragraphs. Not that this entire episode had anything to do with maturity.