Marcus Stroman is one of the most expressive players in Major League Baseball. His emotions are readily apparent on his face and conveyed through his body language when he’s on the mound.
Stroman’s style of play draws both praises of heroism and the ire of criticism from onlookers. While a fair share of fans enjoy watching the Blue Jays starter weave his magic on the mound and express his emotions, others aren’t fond out his outward display on the diamond.
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Consider Hall of Famer and current Red Sox colour commentator Dennis Eckersley among the latter.
Stroman wrapped his strong six outing performance with an emphatic strikeout of Eduardo Nunez to end the sixth inning. Stroman yelled in celebration, stared into the Red Sox dugout and then hopped off the field like a kid celebrating the last day of school.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 23, 2019
Eckersley responded on the Red Sox by saying “that’s tired” and “please” immediately following the strikeout of Nunez.
That's not Dennis Eckersley calling Stroman's celebrations "tired," is it?
"He was aggressive and animated on the mound, and he was known for his intimidating stare and pumping his fist after a strikeout. "https://t.co/Cu6cA6k49A
Somewhere a pot is screaming at a kettle. pic.twitter.com/BbYKfT78Qj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 23, 2019
Did Eckersley forget who he was as a Major Leaguer? During his 24-year career, the former World Series champion was one of the most outwardly expressive players in the league during a time when showmanship was at an all-time low in Major League Baseball.
Eckersley would often fist pump on the mound, point towards an opponent or fire imaginary guns into the opposing dugout when he’d strike a player out. So why did he chastise a player like Stroman for doing the same damn thing?
How soon Eckersley forgets.
By the way, remember never to show up your opponent, kids. pic.twitter.com/B3BJ6A8R2f
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) June 24, 2019
The Stro Show got the last laugh with this brilliant tweet, as an homage to the Blue Jays’ victory over the Oakland Athletics in the 1992 ALCS. In Game 4 of that series, Roberto Alomar hit a series-changing home run off Dennis Eckersley.
The rest is history.
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) June 23, 2019
Stroman, much like Eckersley back in the day, is a polarizing player. Whichever side of the bat flip and fist-pumping strikeouts you stand on, if anyone should give Stroman some slack here, it’s Eckersley.
The man made a living intimidating his opponents, showing them up at every opportunity. Why has Eckersley suddenly grown a conscience and decided to come down on players like Stroman who, dare I say it, might’ve actually emulated Eckersley’s style of play from his heyday as one of the best relivers in baseball?
It’s incredibly rich how Eckersley deemed it appropriate to challenge someone for celebrating a strikeout when dozens of players across Major League Baseball do it every single game. Aaron Sanchez is another who screams at the top of his lungs whenever he picks up a clutch strikeout.
Eckersley hasn’t played since 1998, but he broadcasts every game with the Boston Red Sox. A lot has changed in baseball over the last two decades and with his comments on Sunday, Eckersley illustrated how out of touch he is with the game of baseball.