Homer Bailey tossed the 280th no-hitter in Major League Baseball history Tuesday night, shutting down the San Francisco Giants and giving Cincinnati an easy 3-0 win. For such a rare feat, Bailey expectably celebrated, arms pumped, welcoming the Gatorade shower like the winning pitcher in game seven of the World Series.
More impressive is that the no-hitter is Bailey's second, making him only the 28th pitcher in baseball history to accomplish that feat and the first since Jim Maloney in a Reds uniform. Bailey is the first pitcher since Nolan Ryan (in 1974-75) to throw consecutive no-hitters (he threw the final no-hitter in 2012 and first in 2013) and the first Reds pitcher to do it at home since Tom Browning's perfect game in 1988 (the one where 1.9 million people claim to have been in attendance and watched).
Bailey's performance was nearly a perfect game, if not for a seventh inning walk.
When it was over, Bailey chatted with Jeff Piecoro during Fox Sports Ohio's postgame interview and at one point said, "I just f***in' walked the guy." You can fill in the rest.
As fans, we understand the unfiltered excitement and many of us likely played out a similar vocabulary with a "f*** yea", or calling our buddies with a "did you f***ing see that?" Obviously those situations are private and you're using language common with the relationships around you. Or you're drunk.
Bailey was neither of those.
Regardless, it's almost understandable.
Paul Daugherty with the Cincinnati Enquirer didn't approve, going so far as to question Bailey's class and saying that he "tarnished" the no-hitter as a result.
That’s disheartening. Bailey is an adult. He is a professional. He is not the first athlete/public figure to be in a similar situation. Would we excuse a politician for the same thing? A business leader, entertainer, civic kingpin?
One guy suggested I should give Bailey a pass. I can almost see doing that. No passes for the apologists, though, who so easily rationalize what he did. Winning isn’t everything, OK? Winning with grace and dignity matters. Even these days, when insults and a lack of civility are as close as your thumbs and a cell phone.
Congratulations to Bailey on his second no-hitter in 10 months. Spectacular achievement. Now apologize for diminishing it with your childish behavior.
UPDATE: The posting was removed just after 2 p.m.
The crew at Cincy Shirts have already marketed that
f***ing s*** classless example of proper professionalism in the 21st century (via Mo Egger).
Maybe it's just our background. Perhaps we're just non-classy entities and enjoy the real world playing out as if we were there without the filter of etiquette. What would George Carlin say?