On Wednesday night, Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. entered the final game of a four-game set against the Miami Marlins on an absolute heater. As the Braves lead off hitter, Acuna Jr., one of the favorites to win the NL's Rookie of the Year Award, homered in five consecutive games, including all three against Miami. He was 8-for-13 so far in the series, with four total homers and nine RBIs.
So how do you stop him? The new school thinking would be "get him out," which is much harder than it sounds. The old school thinking would be to back him off the plate, something that's gone on in baseball many years. No, you shouldn't go full Roger Clemens and try to murder someone, but sometimes you have to get a guy that's destroying you out of his comfort zone.
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena went the old-school route, opting to intentionally hit Acuna Jr. in the elbow, sparking a classic baseball "brawl":
Here's the No. 1 problem with all of this: the Marlins stink. They are 48-75, 22 games back of the Braves and have lost 14 of their last 16 games. What they had to gain from Urena doing this other than potentially injuring Acuna Jr. and maybe squeaking out one win from this series, I'm not sure. If this was a bigger series with much more on the line, like say, the Red Sox-Yankees series a few weeks back when Luis Severino threw at Mookie Betts and backed him off the plate, maybe Urena and the Marlins would have a case. That being said, it's part of the game whether crybabies on Twitter like it or not.
So, what does Keith Hernandez have to do with this? Well, calling New York Mets games can get a bit boring these days, and if you add in the fact they're playing the Baltimore Orioles this week, having to sit through them is like popping a few Ambien. In other words, you have to find things to talk about and pass the time.
With the Mets leading 8-1 in the top of the sixth, the subject of Acuna Jr. getting beaned came up, and Hernandez, who gets paid to talk and have opinions, offered his view of the situation. Here's what he had to say in its entirety:
Personally, the only thing I think Keith got wrong is saying that the Marlins and Braves were battling for the division. Just a minor slip-up that happens to the best of us. Other than that, Hernandez simply gave his opinion on the matter, which, you're not going to believe this, he's allowed to do. You're not going to believe this either, but the guy who played in the MLB from 1974 to 1990 thinks differently than people who watch and play the game in 2018. Stunning!
Predictably, Hernandez was blasted for it:
Yeah ... that's not at all what happened Buster. But OK.
The best part about all of this? Keith Hernandez does not give a shit about your tears, and I hope and pray he doesn't have to make a fake apology for this. Team Keith!