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Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008

About That Dugout Push…

Jim Cryns on Sports

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A few days ago I suggested the halcyon days of the Brewers season had come to a close after a four-game sweep by the Cubs. Some readers groused at the notion the salad days had ended, suggesting I was a Cubs fan. I've said many times I'm indifferent and a fan of no particular team, but that doesn't seem to make sense to some folks.

Last night's embarrassing imbroglio in the Brewer's dugout in Cincinnati, a mirror of an incident last year where Ned Yost got into it with two players, illustrates the frustration of a team expected to perform beyond their capabilities. Altercations like this happen in sports all the time, just visit an NFL scrimmage or practice. I don't think Prince Fielder's shoving Manny Parra to the bench is so unique. Sure, it makes good ESPN footage and gives people something to talk about at the water cooler today, but it really isn't that big of a deal-that is unless you consider the ramifications the incident may have on the collective psyche of the team.

Ned Yost, in traditional Ned Yost fashion, tried to make it a non-incident. When asked about the dugout push Yost told reporters, "It's a little bit rude when your neighbors are fighting next door for you to go knock on the door and ask what happened."

Now that's a pink elephant if I ever saw one. Yost is flat-out wrong. If you hear a neighbor knocking his wife around in the next house, it is your responsibility to knock on the door. If need be, you kick the door off its hinges to find out how grave the situation might be.

I don't blame the reporters for not pushing the issue. Yost has a short fuse and reporters can't risk damaging their working relationship with the manager. If you upset the manager, he can 'ice' you out for good, giving you nothing but one-word answers. I'm guilty of avoiding Yost for those very reasons. But for once, I wish someone would call him to the carpet and let him know that a "fight," albeit a small one, looks bad on television. Yost's dismissal of the occurrence as a non-event just won't cut it anymore.