Fernando Tatís Jr., one of the most electrifying young players in the game, finds himself at the center of one of the lamest baseball controversies imaginable. The Padres’ shortstop, who leads the league in home runs, demolished a grand slam against Rangers pitcher Juan Nicasio to extend San Diego’s lead.
Tatís Jr. came under criticism by Rangers manager Chris Woodward, as we all his own, Jayce Tingler, for violating the game’s unwritten rules. The controversy? He swung in a 3-0 count.
“Just so you know, a lot of our guys have green light 3-0,’’ Tingler told reporters. “But in this game in particular, we had a little bit of a comfortable lead. We’re not trying to run up the score or anything like that.”
Players past and present, including many Yankees, quickly came to the defense of Tatís Jr.
Gerrit Cole's perspective: "It’s pretty simple for me. I mean, it's pretty hard to hit a grand slam, so whatever count you want to try to hit one, go for it." https://t.co/zPNywindQo— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) August 18, 2020
Aaron Boone on the outrage from some within baseball over Fernando Tatis Jr. breaking 'unwritten rules':— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) August 18, 2020
"I think it's a little bit silly - the needle has moved a long way. Guys should not be offended by someone swinging in a 3-0 count" pic.twitter.com/1HuqCd8wxR
Fernando Tatis keep playing hard and playing great, it’s a pleasure to watch you play, love your success and the Padres rise to be a winner. Keep leading the way. It ain’t easy to hit Hrs. Keep bringing energy you have to the game, we need players like you. An All Star— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober) August 18, 2020
Here’s a simple idea for MLB to grow fans: more grand slams, and fewer unwritten rules. Tatís Jr. is a stud, Let him mash without apology.