Official Long Island Ducks Recap: http://www.liducks.com/news/current/?article_id=1328
What a difference a day makes. We went to see the Bees play the Long Island Ducks-which means we only need to see one more team at New Britain Stadium this season to complete our quest of seeing all of the teams- and they had announced give away of a water bottle. We got to the stadium somewhat early- about a half hour before gates- and made it in with the water bottle with no problem. My dad and Uncle Willie showed up around 6 and they got two of the last water bottles because we stood there and watched as they handed out the last of them. Now, the night before, I feel like maybe only five people got freebies at the Blue Fish game (because we were the only ones who spoke up) and yet all the water bottles were given out at this game but the atmosphere was just... Different. It wasn't nearly as much fun nor energetic.
There was an impending tropical storm coming on Sunday so what was supposed to be one game was turned into a double header with the Sunday game cancelled then. For some reason the game still started at 6:35 though (I suppose not to confuse people) and they only played seven innings with a half hour break in between. It confused me though because when it was the top of the 7th I kept thinking it was going to go into the 9th and I was wondering why the Ducks were making so many substitutions.
So there were two things which happened in this double header- one in each game- which need addressing and I shall do so in the order which they occurred. First off, Jovan Rosa was ejected in the first game. He struck out- twice- on pitches he thought weren't strikes. Both times he slammed his batting helmet down in frustration (Which in the majors is an automatic ejection, so he should have been tossed the first time) and the second and final time he began yelling and swearing at the umpire. Craig Maddox was on deck and had to come out and hold Rosa back as he continued to argue and at one point Rosa even nearly broke free from Maddox in an attempt to fight the umpire.
First off, Jovan Rosa very loudly and very clearly dropped several f-bombs. Now before the games, the Bees tell us that this is a family event and if someone in the stands was to yell "Hey, player so and so, you f---ing suck!!" they would likely be asked to leave the game. As a fan, we pay for our tickets and we respect these rules. As a player, Jovan Rosa is being paid and therefore he should also respect these rules. Luckily for us, Quentin was in the bounce house at the time so he missed the whole incident, but if he witnessed that, yeah, we could have been screaming at customer service.
My second point is that him getting so irate after striking out a second time when the Bees were up 3-2... I've said on Facebook and Twitter that it was not classy at all. It was unsportsmanlike conduct. And I stand by these ideas still. But mostly, it was awkward. It was uncomfortable, like you didn't know what was going to happen and it was just not baseball. But for the most part, it was embarrassing. It made me want to leave the game and it left the first game with a feeling of tension after that because of it.
I've called for Jovan Rosa to be fired and I still think he should be. It's more of a drive to go to Bridgeport, but if Jovan Rosa is still on the Bees next season we will likely not be going to any games at New Britain Stadium. To only have him serve the ejection from that first game (He came back for the second game and continued to do poorly but without the hissy fit this time) sets bad precedent. He should be made an example of to show the fans that only the Bees but the Atlantic League on a whole will not tolerate this.
If we do end up going to New Britain Stadium for games next season and Jovan Rosa is there I will never ask him for another autograph and I will likely post a live video of me burning his card for the team set. He just became that much of a heel with that single action because I can only think about what it would have been like if Quentin had seen it and then I feel the pain of all the other parents there who had children who did witness it. It was simply, in a word, unacceptable.
And now we move onto the second game. There was this new pitcher, new to the Bees anyway, and first off let's give it up for Mike Lee for pitching a great first game, all right? So during the second game, this pitcher came in named Daniel Sattler. I've never seen him pitch before and he's likely only pitched a few games for the Bees. He gave up three runs on seven walks-- all runs unearned. Just let that set in for a minute. At one point, the runner on first (who was walked) thought that the batter was walked (as did the Ducks' first base coach) and so he headed to second and was thrown out which was odd but likely saved the Bees another unearned run. I mean, that was a lucky break but this guy still gave up three unearned runs. Seven walks.
On one hand, you feel like maybe this just wasn't his night and so you can't fully blame him and so I do wonder why he wasn't pulled. I'm not sure if anyone was warming up in the bullpen or not, but once you load the bases with walks, someone should be warming up in that bullpen. And once he walked in that first unearned run, he should have been pulled. So I don't know what was going on there, but it was just one of these things you're watching and wondering if it's real life or not because as a Bees fan you're just questioning your sanity while as a Ducks fan you must be loving it. I can only imagine someone for the Ducks doing commentary and thanking the Bees for leaving him in.
Once they pulled this pitcher, this Daniel Sattler, we left and then the Bees gave up one more run for the 4-0 loss, but wow was that a mess. As we were leaving he was coming to the dugout and I told him "Good job, you're terrible" and a fan yelled at me. She said, "How can you be a fan of the Bees and tell him that?" to which I replied "He walked seven, gave up three unearned runs and threw a total of two strikes. He is terrible". She shut up quick. But I want to make this perfectly clear right here and now: being a fan of a team doesn't mean you constantly kiss their ass. What should I have done "as a fan"-- told him how good of a game he pitched or how he'll get them next time?
As a lifelong fan of the New York Mets, I've questioned their decisions because I *am* a fan, and yet people still will say "You're a fairweather fan" or "You're not a true fan" but what, am I supposed to sit back and watch someone like Matt Harvey destroy the team that I love? As a fan, you should want your team to be its best so calling out a player or two is not the end of the world. These "everything is great" happy-go-lucky fans need to wake up to what being a fan is all about. (And for the record, I was not the only fan left during the second game who thought the pitcher should have been pulled before then. Also, a lot of fans- not just us- cleared out after this pitcher was finally pulled because we all knew the game was over. And really, how must that feel as a player for the Bees? Pretty self-defeating, no?)
So, really, in the course of this night, I went from not wanting to see the Bees again because Jovan Rosa is an embarrassment to this great sport to not wanting to see the Bees again because they make poor decisions as coaches and everything. On our way out, an employee who was just doing their job (sorry) tried to give us a flyer for tickets for the 2017 season. I told him he couldn't likely pay us to come back because everyone wasn't leaving because the game was over but because their pitcher just gave up three unearned runs with seven walks. We have a pair of free tickets left still, which I'd like to use to go see the Patriots in the final series of the season and so we can have seen all the teams at New Britain Stadium and all, but right now... I'm just not even sure we might do that. I might just have to chill a bit before next season.