Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna hit a homer to lead-off Game 1 against Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins and then proceeded to be hit by a pitch in his next at-bat. Intentionally hitting a batter because the opposing team can’t get him out is becoming the norm, and it’s unacceptable. The Atlanta Braves should not only be furious, they should take matters into their own hands.
Remember those commercials Major League Baseball had the audacity to run that said “Let the kids play”? This same sport now rewards “play” with intentional harm. This all started last year when Miami couldn’t get Acuna out so they hit him instead.
Here we are, a year later, and the same tactics are still allowed. Alcantara may say that hitting Acuna wasn’t intentional, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to believe that it was accidental.
Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher compounded the problem by warning the Braves not to retaliate. So the Marlins get a free lick without punishment, and no one else gets a say? Now the Braves are powerless to defend themselves, and that’s not right.
What’s the solution?
The only move for Atlanta is to retaliate more strategically. Designating a pitcher in the bullpen to handle situations like this is the only move left. Ace pitcher Max Fried would certainly not be willing to sacrifice the rest of his outing in order to justice, so someone else will need to take care of it.
Here’s Acuna’s home run:
It shouldn’t have to be repeated so often, but it may be necessary to prevent players from injury: IF YOU DON’T LIKE A PARTICULAR BATTER, FIND A WAY TO GET HIM OUT. One thing you’ll never see Ronald Acuna do when he gets out is bat flip, so take care of him that way. Pitchers who aren’t good enough to get a guy out should not be able to resort to physical harm.
It seems that the Marlins are the only ones who haven’t gotten the message. Figure it out, MLB!