Violence in baseball is a pretty slow burn. We all know it’s coming eventually, it’s the when that holds things up. It’s like an episode of Breaking Bad or bringing your new girlfriend to the same bar that your ex works at. You know someone’s going down, you just don’t know who or when.
Take the final inning of the Phillies-Reds game last night. It was the final play of the game and no one had gotten that hurt yet. For those bros who watch as much TV as I do, I think we all knew it was pretty obvious that someone was going to get hurt. Enter catcher Cameron Rupp.
That’s what baseball is all about. You finish the play before you put your shoulder back in its socket. Leave the injury timeouts in Little League. In all honesty, there was no way that didn’t hurt. The play aside, I’m most impressed by how quickly Rupp stood up. The guy got two servings of batting helmet in the face and shoulder in the chest. I don’t care how many pads you wear, any professional athlete barrelling towards you at full-speed is going to hurt more often that not. The real story here is that it’s May 15th and the Phillies are still over .500. Ever since their Golden Era ended in 2012, they’ve had a hard time winning games, let alone staying about .500. But hey, if you’ve got catchers willing to get kicked in the teeth by a full-speed baserunner in order to win a game, then I think you’ve got a chance. The sad thing for Rupp is that he’s totally going to have to become the team tough-guy now. I bet we’re going to see Rupp putting himself in all kinds of harm’s way just to keep up his street cred. You can’t become the local Mr. Softee after a play like this. Either that or he’s going to hurt himself on purpose to avoid the situation as a whole. No better way to free yourself from locker room pressure than by accidentally beating your right foot with a wooden bat.