One broken leap forward for Angels, one small step for neo-celebrated wins. Yes, we now need a new type of celebration for walk-off homers after Kendry Morales fractured his leg leaping on home plate.
I do not know when the first walk off homer emptied the dugout so teammates could begin pounding, slapping, and thumping the hero of the day as he crossed home plate. Having witnessed innumerable episodes that have been imitated over the years, I kept wondering how long it would be before someone got hurt. I expected something minor, maybe a pulled muscle, a scratched eye, but not a broken leg to a star player the Angels can not afford to lose.
That is why a more reserved celebration will have to come. Though I find it ironic that back in the day-whatever the day was- that players who were paid no more than any other working stiff down the street, were subdued and professional in the way they celebrated. It was said they did not want to show up the other team, to show respect, and all that.
But I also think it was a cultural thing in the way the game was played. They played like men, yet were considered the boys of summer, though their celebrations were subdued.
Now we have millionaire men with managers, agents, endorsements, shoe contracts, but these men are truly the boys of summer as they celebrate a walk off homer like little leaguers. It is boyish, but fun to watch if your team is celebrating.
But no more. It can’t be when a star player puts himself out of action hurting a team that had yet to meet the expectations of fans and analysts.
Home runs were once celebrated by shaking of hands, then came the high five, the low five, the bump, the this, the that. Now we wait to see who and what will set the new trend.
The first thing to do is to stand back and let the player cross home plate in safety with his helmet on. After that who knows. Maybe each team could have someone like Morganna, the Kissing bandit, who ran out onto the field at Riverfront Stadium in 1971 and kissed Pete Rose during a game. Over the next 19 years she kissed 37 major leaguers, dozens of minor leaguers, an umpire or two, even the San Diego Chicken and some NBA players, with a few hockey stars thrown in. In athletic parlance she had “guns” but her guns were not huge biceps, but huge . . . well you get the point.
It’s just a thought, a new type of team mascot with other duties. We have to find a new trend for celebrations and I humbly offer this. But if you have a better idea . . .