On Friday night we saw a player that many probably didn’t even realize was in the Royals organization, on the same day he was promoted from Omaha, make a base running error that could have cost the Royals a win. But, it was much more than that.
Dusty Coleman, who was called up to take the place of Christian Colon as the team’s utility infielder, really goofed up. In the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 2-2, Coleman was sent home by third base coach Mike Jirschele on a medium fly ball to right center field off the bat of Mike Moustakas. Coleman started home, then paused twice to look at the play in the field.
That is a little league mistake.
You either go or you don’t go. NEVER be undecided and get caught in the middle – which he was, and was eventually tagged out by first baseman Joe Mauer. A 5-man infield, 2-man outfield NEVER works, but, it did here, because Coleman, not because Paul Molitor’s strategy. The Royals eventually won the game, in the bottom of the 10th, and Coleman could breathe a little easier knowing his team picked him up.
Did Lorenzo Cain take a jab at him when said, “I was just hoping to make it home” after scoring the game-winning run? Or, are we looking too much into it?
What we found the most bizarre about the Coleman mistake was what was happening in social media land. We see Royals fans bemoan the effort of Alex Rios, Omar Infante in midst of his 5-62 slump, crush Jeremy Guthrie due to him being ineffective, ridicule Nori Aoki for taking a fly ball off the nuts (Rios, too, on Friday night, also) and lose their minds over Jarrod Dyson’s lack of hustle at times or getting picked off as a pinch-runner.
However, when a 28-year-old rookie, with eight years and 743 games of minor league experience, makes a mistake and is pounced on by the Twitter trolls and meme’s, well, that’s just going to far.
What? Why is Dusty Coleman off limits? We don’t condone the relentless hate that some people pour out in social media, but to express disappointment over such a basic play seems fair. Yes, he’s a rookie, but he’s been around. Coleman knows he messed up, and being a professional baseball player, he should be able to handle simple disgust and shots from fans. I mean, if we can’t laugh when something stupid happens, what can we laugh and joke at?
We saw more than a few attempts to protect the “rookie” :
…after we posted this meme:
Really? We never expected backlash when tweeting this. We thought you guys had a sense of humor. Is Twitter supposed to be a serious place? If it is and we’ve been doing it all wrong, then we have really misread this “Twitter” thing. Can you imagine Royals Twitter if it were around when Ken Harvey was hit in the back on a throw from the outfield or when he nearly killed himself falling into the tarp, and Jason Grimsley:
Or other Royals lowlights, like Kerry Robinson’s wall climb fail, Chip Ambres’ dropping of a would-be final out fly ball at Fenway that would ended a losing streak that went on to reach 19 games, Miguel Ascencio throwing 16 pitches – all balls – in the 8th inning of a 14-0 loss to Chicago in his MLB debut.
Or Eduardo Villiacis’ complete dumpster fire debut at Yankee Stadium, where he was called up from Double-A Wichita, where he had thrown just 18 1/3 innings, bombed and never pitched another MLB game, sporting a career 13.50 ERA. That would have been some kind of hot mess. Or even Jeremy Affeldt blowing a 7-3 ninth-inning lead at Yankee Stadium, tripping over the rosin bag on a would-be game-ending double-play ball or when Mike MacDougall was hit in the head by a flying bat in the dugout.
That list could go on forever. The point is, it is perfectly acceptable to have expressed your anger with Coleman’s base running on Friday. If you were one of the ones tagging him in your comments, telling him to go back to Omaha and wishing injury or worse on him, well, no…of course that’s not okay.
Let’s get back to a common sense approach to life. What exactly do you think you’re accomplishing anyways with that, tough guy? Professional athletes are in the public eye by choice. They deserve, and should be able to handle criticism for their mistakes, just as much as they deserve praise for their successes.
We don’t know you, Dusty Coleman. You upset us, and amazed us, with your blunder Friday, but we wish you nothing but success going forward. You are after all, are a Royal now. And, at some point, something good is going to happen for you at the Major League level. It can’t really get worse than the base running mistake, followed by striking out in first MLB AB two days later.
But, one bad play doesn’t write his story. Even if it was a horrible beginning, we’re still on page 1.
Reminder for Coleman:
Reminder for everyone else: Chill out with the social media hypocrisy.
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