On Wednesday, Braves reliever Jeff Bennett unleashed his frustration on a door with his non-pitching hand (at least he was smart enough to use his left hand). The end result: a break in his fifth metacarpal below the base of the pinky finger. You might be thinking, hey that is not much of a story. But it does not end there.
After seeing the bone protruding from his hand, Bennett shoves it back into place, and heads back out to pitch the seventh inning. Only after his outing was over did he tell team trainers about his injury, and he is now on the disabled list.
Two things I would like to comment about with regards to this story. First: grow up. I am tired of pitcher’s losing it on inanimate objects, especially in front of the fans and TV cameras. You are setting a terrible example for young baseball fans. I do not know about you, but when I was young, if you threw your helmet, bat or glove, the next thing you slammed was your butt to the bench. By losing your cool, you also show your frustration to your opponent. Let me tell you teams love it when they get the opposing pitcher rattled.
However, the second part of this is a bit of a silver lining. Most of the time players who rip apart the dugout show absolutely no remorse for their actions. Bennett’s case is a bit different. On Thursday he commented to the media:
I’m ashamed of myself. This is a professional sport; you handle yourself in a professional manner. I didn’t do that. I’m just hopeful that Bobby and Frank will give me another chance.
I do not know if he is saying this because he is a borderline major league pitcher and this could be his ticket out of the majors, or if he is generously remorseful for his actions. Either way, thank you Jeff for showing a little class after your outburst, I am sure it was not easy to do.