The Mets pitcher said baseball has gotten “soft” and that players should be allowed to celebrate.
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard wants baseball to change.
In an interview with GQ’s Clay Skipper, the 28-year-old starter said he feels baseball’s old-school approach needs to give way to a new school of thought—a shift that starts by doing away with the unwritten rules of baseball.
“I think they’re pretty stupid, to be honest,” he told GQ. “Anything unwritten sounds pretty stupid. I think it’s very old school, and I think there needs to be a new-school approach.”
The unwritten rules of America’s pastime include not taunting other players, excessively celebrating and bat-flipping after a homer. Some players, including pitchers, take exception to violations of those unwritten rules.
Syndergaard recalled a specific moment when Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit two home runs off Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and followed them up with a celebration. Even after the game, the two trash-talked on Twitter. Syndergaard chimed in to support Tatis Jr. because of his past confrontation with Bauer.
When Bauer was a free agent, he hinted he’d join the Mets but eventually picked the Dodgers and apologized to Mets fans on Twitter for misleading them and promised to donate money to New York–based charities. Syndergaard then mocked him for it.
“I think it’s great for baseball, and I think the fans really enjoy it. It’s exciting,” Syndergaard told GQ. “People are able to see both of our personalities. I think baseball has gotten soft, too. I think there should be some more s—talking. I agree with what Bauer recently said: He gave up two home runs to Tatis, and Tatis heckled him pretty good. I think that’s awesome. I agree with Bauer; that does not warrant somebody to get thrown at.”
Syndergaard was diagnosed with a torn UCL last season and had Tommy John surgery in March 2020—forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. In ’19, he posted a 4.28 ERA and a 10–8 record with 202 strikeouts.
He’s currently targeting a return to the mound in June, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
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