The New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians matchup in the 2022 MLB Playoffs ALDS is more dramatic and exciting than anyone could realistically hope. The Yankees were the best team in baseball in the first half of the season, still finishing the year with 99 wins after an uneven second half. The Guards have won the fewest games of any division title in baseball (92 wins), and are certainly at a big disadvantage in the series’ power bats and power weapons.
The Guardians won Game 3 on Saturday with an incredible ninth-inning comeback to take a 2-1 series lead. After the Yankees took the lead in a life-or-death Game 4, Cleveland slugger Josh Naylor did his best to show the Guards won’t back down. After hitting Yankees ace Gerrit Cole deeper, Naylor called the pitcher his “son” and made a “rock baby” celebration as he rounded the bases. Watch the video here:
This little guy even made Bob Costas say “I’m your dad” on TV. Sorry to include this video, but we had to.
What was the most amazing part about Naylor’s celebration? When it happened, the Guardians were losing the game. The Yankees went on to win the game 4-2. The best of the five series is tied 2-2 ahead of Monday’s winner-take-all finale.
Baseball needs more big shots. Underdogs like Naylor mocking high-paid superstars like Cole seem like a good thing for the game. Everyone loves beef. You need an NFL referee’s sense of humor to not appreciate some creative taunts.
Of course, the discourse around baseball always seems to revolve around unwritten rules and respect. Some analysts believe that Naylor’s celebration was a move by the Bush League, Intended to appear his opponent. You can always count on the MLB media to be bland like this.
This is crazy.
Josh Naylor is rocking a baby around the bases and calling Gerrit Cole his son. I’m a fan of bat flipping and celebrating your work, but don’t let it be disrespectful. This is quite disrespectful.
— Ben Verlander ( @BenVerlander) October 17, 2022
The 2022 MLB playoffs are very unpredictable and very fun. Three of the four baseball teams that won 100 or more games in the regular season did not make the playoffs in the championship series. Instead, the No. 7-seeded Philadelphia Phillies and a Padres have 22 fewer regular-season wins than the Dodgers.
Some baseball fans just want to go back in time, the playoffs didn’t expand and there was more etiquette on the field. For themselves, these playoffs have been fascinating so far for a variety of reasons.