Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) is chasing an unheard-of 40-homer, 70-double season, but he’s as much a showman as he is a baseball player. Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thompson, who gave up the 37th home run, didn’t like what he saw. “I like it the old-fashioned way,” he said, sparking controversy.
Acuña Jr. hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning of a 3-1 game against the Phillies on July 13. He circled the bases and did all sorts of tricks. On his way to first base, he raised his index finger to his coach, then immediately waved his arms in the air to get his teammates excited. Right in front of home plate, he mimicked NBA star Trae Young’s “Ice Cold” gesture. The game ended in a 7-6 Atlanta victory in 10 extra innings.
“I like our players to do things ‘the way they used to do them,'” Thompson said on a radio broadcast on the 14th. It was a comment that could have been interpreted as a “jab” at Atlanta players for making flashy gestures.
Thompson emphasized that he has nothing personal against the Atlanta organization or its players. “It has nothing to do with Atlanta, nothing to do with Akunyah Junior, nothing to do with Osuna. They can do what they want. It’s not something I can control, I’m just saying I prefer the old way of doing things,” he said, adding, “I’m not trying to start a controversy.”
“Baseball is different now,” he said, adding that home run ceremonies are no longer a part of the pitcher’s game. “I think most baseball players, myself included, realize that a beanball can ruin an opponent’s career,” he said.
While Thompson is making amends, the media is cynical. The perception that Major League Baseball is against home run ceremonies is a myth. Several outlets have called Thompson’s mindset “outdated.
The Associated Press wrote, “Home run celebrations have evolved creatively over the years. The forearm bump is now outdated. Pittsburgh Pirates players swing knives. The Minnesota Twins fish, and Miami Marlins players wear vacation hats. The Seattle Mariners even have a Darth Vader helmet. Atlanta flutters. Love it or hate it,” he wrote.
Yahoo Sports wrote, “Thompson actually seems to let his players do whatever they want. The Phillies do the ‘big ball’ ceremony when they get on base and celebrate after they hit a home run. When players do postgame interviews, other players spray them with liquids, sunflower seeds, and the contents of dugout trash cans,” he wrote.먹튀검증
“(Philadelphia does it freely), so Thompson’s complaints about the ceremony seem hypocritical. Every team celebrates their teammates in their own way. The best players on the best teams can celebrate the way they want. If Thompson didn’t want to see that, he shouldn’t have hit the home run.”