Unwritten Baseball Rules – Celebrating vs Taunting


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I am a strong advocate for showing emotions on the baseball field. I love seeing the players leave it all out on the field. Celebrations are becoming a huge part of the game and it’s very entertaining to watch. But one thing that will always be weird to me is when one player directs it towards another.

Celebrating vs taunting

Celebrating is very different from taunting. A bat flip is a celebration to a home run. Raising a fist in the air and yelling is a celebration of a good outing. None of those celebrations are directed towards anyone. They are not meant to taunt. They are simply celebrating their own success. But there is always that one player who has to ruin it for the rest.

Monday night was Ohtani’s birthday and I’m sure he would have wanted nothing more than an Angels’ win. He has a chance to be the hero in the 9th inning with 2 outs. Ottavino got himself into a messy situation when the Angels were able to make it a one-run game. Ohtani came up with the tying run on second and the winning run on first.

Ottavino shows true colors with odd taunting towards Ohtani

Ohtani hit a 101.3 mph rocket that had an expected batting average of .910 according to Statcast. That finished a rather mediocre night for Ohtani as he went 1-5. So that was that right? Well that wasn’t enough for Ottavino. As the play was happening he jogged over to first to cover the possibility of an arrant throw. But once the play concluded and the game was over, he could be seen yelling “ Happy Birthday, b***h”.

Classless by Ottavino in Angels vs Red Sox on July 5th, 2021

There are a few things wrong with that. First of all, Ottavino almost blew the lead. He gave up one walk, 2 hits, and one run as he left the tying and winning runs on base. In that inning half of the batters he faced got on base. The Red Sox lead was cut in half due to his rather mediocre performance. So celebrating that outing is very telling on who Ottavino is as a player.

It’s the Angels… not the Yankees

Secondly, there was literally no bad blood with the Angels, especially Ohtani. The Red Sox and Angels are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes to baseball excellence. The Red Sox have a legitimate shot at the title, while the Angels would be very fortunate to make the playoffs. Them being in different divisions also means that they really don’t compete with each other too much. There isn’t any history between the 2 teams that could explain some kind of hostility.

Lastly, Ohtani is one of most reserved players in the game. For someone who is leading MLB in home runs, he doesn’t really get in your face about it. He smiles a lot. That’s really the only thing Ottavino could be mad about.

Classless ending as Ottavino taunts Ohtani after win on July 5th, 2021

Ottavino’s childish antics on full display in national broadcast

It was a great team win for the Red Sox but it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. The game was on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball broadcast so I’m imagining a few neutrals that were watching might think twice before rooting for the Red Sox. Not that they care, they have one of the most loyal fanbases in all sports. It’s something to truly be admired. Just a shame that Ottavino had to ruin what ended up being a rather exciting game at the end.

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