Cincinnati Reds‘ relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman had a dominating start to the season, struggled of late and finally got back on track last night while closing out a 4-3 Reds win over the Milwaukee Brewers — and celebrating with a double somersault.
But baseball purists and other have piled on. While some were amused at the moment of joy, others took it for needless showboating. Chapman’s chiefest critic was likely Reds’ manager Dusty Baker.
“It’s been addressed,” an unsmiling Baker told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s over with. It won’t happen again, ever.”
Aroldis Chapman’s somersaults came after striking out Martin Maldonado to complete the win over the Milwaukee on Tuesday night for his ninth save.
The pitcher, nicknamed “The Cuban Missile” has been in a bit of a crisis of late both on and off the field. ESPN reports that Chapman has struggled in recent weeks, giving up back-to-back game-losing home runs to Cleveland and Minnesota before his appearance Tuesday.
Off the field, Chapman was arrested for speeding (93 MPH) and driving with a suspended license. Then, a week later, an exotic dancer staying in Chapman’s hotel room claimed she was tied up and robbed while the pitcher was away. She has been charged with filing a false police report, but some of Chapman’s items were stolen from the room. And to top if off, Chapman is being sued for $18 million by a Cuban-American who claims that the pitcher made remarks that had the man put in prison before defecting.
The Enquirer also posted some of the early comments that Chapman’s move elicited on Twitter, and not all were supportive.
(MLB Reporter Mark Sheldon) @m_sheldon: “Doubt you’ll see Chapman do somersault again. Baker, Price and players not pleased. He was talked to after game.”
@CBSSports: “This qualifies as bizarre. RT @EyeOnBaseball: Aroldis Chapman nails down saves, celebrates with double-roll.”
Some though took a more appreciative position.
@spenclay: “Seeing Chappy do a double somersault was funny, knowing that he is probably getting an earful kinda stinks! Great game #arroyo though!”
@redreporter: “Did everyone really not like Barrel-roll-dis? Hard to be “shown up” by gleeful somersaults.”
So where do you fall? Was the “gleeful” moment by Aroldis Chapman just a truly terrific tumble, or the shameless somersault of a showboat?
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)