At a high school baseball playoff game in May, I remember seeing a player hit a booming home run that gave his team the lead.
His teammates, as jubilant as he was in the moment, jumped out of the dugout and prepared to mob the slugger.
There was just one problem: The umpire wouldn't allow the players to huddle around home plate.
Angry parents heckled the umpire, saying things such as, "Why won't you just let the kids have fun?"
The taunts didn't end there. They ragged on the umpire for the next few innings.
Flash-forward to May 29 and a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners. First baseman Kendry Morales' big moment -- a walk-off grand slam in the Angels' 5-1 victory -- was marred by what happened after he rounded the bases.
As Morales neared home plate, he jumped into a crowd of waiting teammates. He brushed a teammate on the way down, lost his balance and came down on his left leg.
When he went down, he stayed down. The joy of the moment turned into despair when everyone realized that Morales had broken his leg. He'll need surgery and might miss the rest of the season.
The injury has influenced several major league teams to reassess the way they celebrate.
I understand that Morales' situation was a freak accident that wouldn't normally happen. At the same time, it shows that it can happen to anyone, even a fifth-year major leaguer making $1.2 million.
The injury, I'm sure, is a tough one for him to swallow. It takes away almost an entire season from his career. Plus, it could hurt his earning power, and who knows how he'll respond to surgery and rehabilitation?
But a comparable injury to a high school player would be far worse. Morales has already "made it," so to speak.
At best, high school players have four years to prove themselves if they hope to play after they graduate. And that's if they get the opportunity to play all four years.
Each at-bat is important to a high-schooler. Expand that to an entire season, and one year away can be devastating.
The situation at the high school game reminded me of a conversation between a parent and a child. The parent told the child he can't do something, and the child responded, "You never let me do anything fun!"
If the parent OKs the activity and the child is harmed, however, that parent likely would never hear the end of it.
This brings us back to the opening scenario. Sure, the parents were upset at the umpire for making the celebration so boring. I can only assume that the umpire did so as a safety precaution.
But can you imagine the uproar if the home run hitter had broken a leg? The same parents might be the first to try to place the blame somewhere, and understandably so.
In a twist of irony, the umpire might even face some criticism in a situation like that.
Next time, parents, think before you yell at someone. He might just be doing a good job.
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