Posts Tagged ‘Beltre and the Ump: A Clear Case of Passive-Aggression’

Beltre: A Clear Case of Passive-Aggression

July 28, 2017

It happens all the time. We just see it a whole lot easier on the stage of big league baseball.

In that Rangers game against Miami at Arlington two night ago, 7/25/17, plate umpire Gerry Davis apparently didn’t like seeing Rangers batter waiting for his time at bat so far up the line behind home plate, so far away from the on-deck circle. He motioned for Adrian Beltre to get back in the circle, which Beltre did. Literally.

Beltre went over to the very transportable circle on the field and moved it back to where he had been standing at the time of censure. And then he sat down upon it. He was in the batting circle (so to speak). Again, quite literally.

As soon as umpire Davis saw him, he gave Beltre the thumb, inviting immediately, of course, the expression of astonished indignation – from both Beltre and Rangers manager Jeff Banister. The air briefly hung full of home team exasperation: “How can you throw the guy out? He did exactly as you told him, didn’t he? He was in the on-deck circle!”

Not exactly. Beltre moved the on-deck circle. He moved the circle to where he wanted to be. And where he wanted to be was the umpire’s objection in the first place. Only a cretin intellect could fail to get the intended message. And Beltre is no cretin intellect. He just didn’t like being told what to do under the watchful eye of his own ego and its own sensitivity to the fact that a few fans in the area would be aware of the fact that his movement from the area of his own choosing was not his idea. Oh no. It pushed the button on Adrian Beltre’s leftover adolescent “nobody tells me what to do without payback” way of thinking.

“Compliance in Defiance” is my term for it. Passive-Aggressive behavior includes any and all things we do, consciously or unconsciously, that are designed to blend defiance with compliance to some authority that we both have over us and resent. If you’ve ever been a teenager, or had a teenage kid to raise, you may already know what I’m talking about.

A few years ago, I remember this father telling me in my office that he was having a lot of trouble getting his 14-year old son to help him with the yard work.

“One day,” the father told me, “I asked my son to walk across the yard as I was busy picking up some leaves to retrieve a large piece of paper that had blown into our yard from a storm the night before. By the time he got across the yard, I looked over and saw that another sheet of paper had blown into the same area. It was only about five feet away from the first piece – and it had quickly pushed up against the fence, just like the first one had.

“To my amazement,” the father continued, “my son brought back the first piece of trash, but not the second, late arriving piece.

“Didn’t you see it, I asked? He said he did.

“Then why didn’t you bring it back too?” the father asked in frustration.

“You didn’t tell me to bring it back,” the son said, and he supposedly said it with a smile.”

The son got what Adrian Beltre got. He got sent to his room. But without a social media circus coverage of his remaining trip to maturity. Growing up was a trip the kid and a younger sister also made in their own ways, over time, just fine – and with a lot of love, patience, and parental authority at play in the mix.

Good Luck, Adrian Beltre!


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle