After Phillies outfielder Ben Francisco tried knocking the ball out of Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira’s glove on Sunday, Teixeira (whose last name I can never spell correctly on the first pass) had a whole lot to say about what he thought was a bush league play.
“That’s not a hustle play, there is no reason for it,” said Teixeira. “He could hurt me or hurt himself... That’s not baseball.”
Now, Teixeira is clearly in the right here. Francisco made a stupid play, a play reminiscent of Alex Rodriguez’s infamous glove slap back in the 2004 ALCS. There’s certainly no defending it. However, Teixeira IS a Yankee. And so even when he’s right, I still feel inclined to disagree with him, because I hate him. In fact, I’d have preferred it if Francisco had not only tried to dislodge the ball from Teixeira’s glove, but in fact gave him a roundhouse kick to the face in attempt to touch the bag.
This brings me to a clear way, at least in my eyes, to improve the game of baseball: LEGALIZED RUNNER SHOVING. Everyone loves it when the runner charging home plate tries to dislodge the ball from the catcher’s mitt by plowing the poor sap over. Well, why can’t that happen at EVERY base?
Why wait four bases for that to go down?
Think of the drama you could wrest from a routine grounder if the first basemen knew he had to withstand the onslaught of a batter running full speed at him. You could even pad the first baseman up to give him a chance.
And then it would be totally legal to clothesline Teixeira while trying to up your batting average. Tell me that wouldn’t be to the betterment of mankind.