With the Diamondbacks and Braves gone golfing, who will make sure the game is played the right way? Worry not, the Cardinals are here to bitch about a pair of Dodger celebrations.
The first bone of contention was Adrian Gonzalez's reaction after sliding into second with an RBI double in the fourth.
Gonzalez was demonstrative, toward his own dugout. Keep in mind that the Dodgers had led for just a half-inning all series, and this was their first run since the third inning of Game 1. If ever there was a time to try and fire up your teammates, this was it.
"Mickey Mouse stuff," Adam Wainwright called it.
"Mickey Mouse is only an hour away," Gonzalez responded.
One out later, Yasiel Puig tripled to right—but not before flipping his bat at the plate, thinking he'd hit a home run. Once he made it to third standing up, he thrust his arms, then encouraged the crowd's cheers.
"As a player, I just think he doesn't know [about how to act]," Beltran said. "That's what I think. He really doesn't know. He must think that he's still playing somewhere else.
"He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that — great ability, great talent. I think with time, he'll learn that you've got to act with a little bit more calm."
The Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa pretty much nailed it this morning when he wrote, "U.S. baseball players became the most sensitive athletes in all of sports. Clap once after a hit, and they'll tolerate it. Clap twice, and you're showing them up." This feels like a recent thing—not the backlash against excessive celebration, but in what constitutes excessiveness. If a player can't pump his arms after a crucial RBI in an LCS, what's the point of baseball? The unwritten rulebook gets wordier every day.
If anything, Puig should come in for censure from his own teammates. He admired his home run, which is inexcusable if it's anywhere close to not leaving the yard. This one didn't, and if not for Beltran misplaying the carom in right, Puig could have cost his team an extra base or even an out. "Obviously, I'd like to see him run right away," Don Mattingly said. It was a clear fuckup, but not a disrespectful one, and the Cardinals should hope he does it every time.