It may be a small gesture, but as far as Blue Jays’ fans are concerned, there aren’t many opinions more important than Roberto Alomar’s, the one and only Blue Jay hat in the Hall of Fame. His encouragement of Marcus Stroman on Twitter was an interesting tidbit to Saturday’s news feed.
Marcus Stroman has had an impressive season, but it’s also been ripe with controversy in many ways. He hasn’t had anything major take place, but he’s slowly developed a reputation as one of the best starter’s in the American League, but also for his behaviour when he’s on the mound. With everything from passionate displays, to grunts and ticks, it’s always entertaining watching the 26 year old on the bump.
Lately his antics have had an extra spotlight, and in some ways it hasn’t been the most flattering. Two starts ago, he was ejected by Will Little (along with his battery mate, Russell Martin), for challenging the strike zone, and for his outward displays on the mound. It’s hard to defend the quick trigger that Little had for making ejections (especially in Martin’s case), but there’s little doubt that Stroman’s personality worked against him in that case, right or wrong.
In his last outing, he exchanged words during and after the game with Tim Anderson of the White Sox. Anderson took exception to what Blue Jays’ fans have grown accustomed to as normal behaviour from the “Stro’ Show”, and our charismatic starter wasn’t about to back down in this case either.
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The combination of incidents in a short span, coupled with a few other occurrences throughout the year, have put Stroman at the forefront of many discussions in baseball over the past week or so. Some fans writers love the passion he brings to every start, while others feel that he should dial it back a notch or two, and be more mindful of the traditions of the game.
One individual who likes Stroman the way he is has a special place in the hearts of Blue Jays fans: Mr. Roberto Alomar.
Alomar sent a tweet in Stroman’s direction on Saturday, encouraging him to stay the course with his behaviour, and to keep displaying his passion for the game in the way that he always has.
It doesn’t really matter what any of us think of Stroman’s behaviour, but this tweet certainly helps the case for our energetic staff ace. Alomar is arguably the greatest Blue Jay to ever lace up the cleats, so if any endorsement helps Stroman’s case, it’s the one coming from a Hall of Famer.
Alomar wasn’t necessarily known for his outward displays of emotion, but he also played during a different era of the game. As we’ve entered the mid-2010’s (yeah, that’s a thing now), the game and the clientele is shifting. We’re hearing more calls for the old guard of baseball traditionalists to lighten up, and slowly but surely the culture of the game is, and will continue to shift.
Guys like Alomar recognize this, and can also seem the harmlessness of Stroman’s antics. Sure, I can see why the opposition may be irritated by his competitive edge and his quirks, but is that such a bad thing? In addition to having top shelf stuff, it doesn’t hurt if the Duke University graduate can get into his opponent’s heads as well.
Stroman is scheduled to throw against the Astros today in the series finale. Despite being outscored 56-28 in the season series, the Blue Jays have a chance to take the season series with the Astros, as they’re currently tied at three games a piece. Hopefully he can get through the outing with any significant incidents, but even if there are fireworks once again, I think we’re all just going to have to get used to it. At 10-5 with a 3.19 ERA, it shouldn’t be too difficult to do just that.