Latin Flavor Meets Texas Justice And The Culture Card

In this New York Times piece about Francisco Cervelli, you find Cervelli justifying his over-the-top on-field antics by playing the culture card and essentially saying “it’s the way the game is played in Latin America”.

What’s lost in the self-righteousness is that Cervelli took exception to the way John Lackey retaliated for Cervelli’s in-your-face celebration by dispensing the type of Texas justice that Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett and any host of other players from the Lone Star State would have.

So it’s okay for Cervelli to express himself on the field in such an overt way because of his Italian heritage and Venezuelan upbringing, but not okay for Lackey to go back to his own formative years in how to play the game and conduct oneself appropriately and drill Cervelli in the back?

David Ortiz is quoted as agreeing with Cervelli as to the Latin emotionality sometimes coming out at inopportune moments, moments that may offend the opposition; but it’s not mentioned that Ortiz is a star player with the numbers and accomplishments to back up his bat flipping and other gestures that tend to annoy opponents and Francisco Cervelli is Francisco Cervelli.

Cervelli’s lucky to be in the big leagues; isn’t particularly good at anything; and for a backup catcher, he draws an awful lot of attention to himself the few times he does play. The only way he’s going to get a featured article about himself in the New York Times is when he almost starts a fight for dishing it out and not being able to take it.

Either accept the punishment for playing with a Latin flavor and run the risk of getting popped in the back, or knock it off.

Cervelli can do one or the other, but he can’t do both.

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  1. #1 by Matt on September 1, 2011 - 2:33 pm

    Great post. I especially liked how Cervelli took a few steps toward the mound after the plunking. I know the biggest guy in a fight doesn’t always win, but John Lackey is a giant and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is also huge and was also plenty pissed off. Cervelli was a heartbeat away from getting panini’d.

    • #2 by admin on September 1, 2011 - 3:37 pm

      I’m wondering how enthusiastic many of Cervelli’s teammates would’ve been about getting into a fight because Cervelli can’t take consequences for his behavior. They’d have been out there for team solidarity, but wouldn’t have been all that bothered about Cervelli getting a bit of a beating.

      • #3 by Matt on September 1, 2011 - 7:56 pm

        The benches and bullpens did “clear”, though without enthusiasm. Sabathia did some barking but he didn’t seem totally into it.

      • #4 by admin on September 1, 2011 - 9:38 pm

        It’s silly that all this attention is being paid to Francisco Cervelli. It’s his 15 minutes of baseball fame; he should enjoy it.

  2. #5 by Joseph on September 12, 2011 - 3:38 am

    I don’t think Lackey had the right to do shit like that. You act like Cervelli was the first person ever to react like that to a hit by pitch. And Lackey gave up that homer to Cervelli to even begin with. So why doesn’t Lackey just buck up and bring his stuff next time? Not Cervelli’s fault at all.

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