This may sound like I’m trying to give him a pass but not only is he a kid, he’s a kid that’s been through a lot, defecting from Cuba at a very young age. Same with Puig.
Having to turn your world upside down just to get an opportunity to make your own way in the world doing what you are good at and love and leaving family and friends behind in order to do it has to do crazy things to your psyche. Not only that, you are all of the sudden a millionaire and can have whatever you want, after going through all that.
Being a baseball player has to be a strange profession, given you have to basically give up on a normal life to devote yourself to baseball. It has to make you weird, much less doing it after you’ve come from a completely different country, culture and economic and political system.
Not buying it. At all. Why can’t those same experiences make him humble and respectful? Same for Puig. I won’t pretend to fathom what it’s like to escape from Cuba. But there are plenty of Cubans who come to this country to do very menial jobs and show a much greater sense of class than he did. I don’t mind the smiling and the antics, but get a grip.
Baseball players from Cuba seem to be more ok with showing emotion and outwardly having more fun on the field. They also play with a little more flair like they are putting on a show. But the American brand of baseball is more mute on those things because of fear of showing someone up. The American brand needs to loosen up a little if you ask me.
I think plenty of U.S.-born baseball players and athletes are the opposite of humble and respectful. I think there is kind of this isolation if you are devoting yourself to doing something like playing baseball and you make it and are told how great you are at it. I would think that makes plenty of people incapable of normal social interaction. And if you come from nothing, it could mess you up even worse, I would think. Kind of like Hollywood. It’s such a weird lifestyle that I would think it makes a lot of people different from everyone else socially, in one way or another.
I wish athletes and entertainers were humble people that acted like role models but I can’t imagine what I would be like if someone had given me millions in my early 20s, continuously told me how great I was and I made it to the highest level of what I was doing.
But everyone isn’t like that. Every MLB player isn’t a showboat or a jerk. Every Cuban MLB player isn’t flashy. Every Hollywood star isn’t full of themselves. I’m not suggesting Fernandez is any of these things, but it sure seems easy for people to give these celebs a pass because of their unique circumstances. But, you know what? Your situation is unique too, because no one else has lived your life. I’m sure it would mess with you to be given millions and showered with adulation. It must be bizarre to live that life. But that doesn’t give people the excuse to be an ass. Just Manny being Manny is one of the worst adages I have ever heard. If we don’t hold people accountable for their actions, regardless of who they are, then who are we? I’m more willing to give the pass to the person who is absolutely destitute and desperate, than the millionaire, petulant athlete or actress.
In a broad sense, the latin culture is a little more”wide open” emotionally, compared to US culture. thats what it seems like, when it comes to ball players. its understandable…but they are playing in the US. so, its not unreasonable to expect them to adjust a little bit the our culture. no one wants robots out there. we want expression, we just want respectful expression, in the correct context.
by the way, Fernandez isnt a Cuban baseball player. He never played baseball in Cuba. He isnt like Puig, of Chapman, or some of these guys. So that “excuse” (if you want to call it that) doesnt really apply to Fernandez. He played lots of ball in this country before showing up in a Marlins uni.
I think this is more of an age thing than a culture thing. And also, more of a Fernandez-specific (or a Puig or a Harper or a Bieber) thing than an everyone-that-loosely-falls-in-his-demographic thing.
I also think way too much is being made out of this.
I don’t necessarily excuse people being jerks. I just pretty much expect it from athletes and entertainers, especially young ones. Maybe that’s cynical. And I suppose I do forgive or excuse a certain amount of it.
There are certain things that I do find reprehensible, no matter a player’s production. But the way I look at it these guys are paid and we watch them because they produce on the baseball field. I’m willing to overlook a lot of antics, because I just care about what they produce on the field.
I’m with Ham, a lot of the antic stuff is overblown. I think guys like Fernandez and Puig will probably grow out of a lot of this stuff or at least tone it down as they get older.