The Most Classless Celebrations in Baseball
I was a huge fan of former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders of the NFL. Every time he scored a touchdown, he acted like he had been there before.
Sanders simply handed the ball to the referee. There was no celebration of any kind, no Barry-Walk, no jumping into the stands to get hugged by fans—never any celebration at all.
On Tuesday night, Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman decided to conduct his own celebration after notching a save in the Reds' victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
We'll get into the act itself and comments about Chapman's antics a little later in our presentation, but it was, in a word, classless.
Celebrations have come in many forms recently, from chest bumps to fist pumps to "styling" after a home run.
All they do is serve to show up the other team.
Since when did that become in vogue?
Here are some examples of some of the more classless celebrations going on in baseball today.
Jose Valverde and His Primal Scream
Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde has saved 255 games over a career that has now reached its 10th season.
Yet each time he notches another save, he acts like it's the first one he's ever attained.
Sometimes I really wish that pitchers in the American League could still hit. The first time Valverde came to the plate, he would get a real good idea of how opposing teams view his antics.
Rafael Soriano and His Shirt Antics After Each Save
Here's another closer who acts like his next save is his first.
New York Yankees closer Rafael Soriano has taken to the habit of literally ripping his uniform jersey out of his pants after each successful save.
Is the fabric just itching him that badly? Sadly, no, that's not the case. It's his "expression" for his accomplishment.
Opposing team are probably pretty happy that they no longer have to witness the antics of Francisco Rodriguez at the end of the game.
Milwaukee Brewers teammate John Axford is pretty tame at the end of a game compared to K-Rod.
Carlos Marmol and His Version of "Oh Boy, I Got a Save!"
Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol collected his 100th save on Tuesday night, joining Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Randy Myers as the only closers in Cubs history to reach that mark.
I'm pretty sure none of those former closers acted like each save was their first.
Outfielders Chest and Back Bumps After Each Win
Here's another new thing that's apparently the "in" thing to do.
On many teams now, the three outfielders get together for some version of an improvised chest or back bump following a victory.
Not sure if it started in Baltimore with Adam Jones and company, but it has certainly swept through baseball.
I know that the Orioles are getting used to winning all over again, but come on, does each win really deserve its own celebration?
Aroldis Chapman and His Double Somersault
Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman has struggled of late, blowing two straight save opportunities before entering Tuesday night's contest with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Chapman got the save, striking out the side with one walk. After punching out Martin Maldonado to end the game, Chapman proceeded to perform a double somersault, earning more than a few comments from teammates and opposing players alike.
Chapman wasn't even allowed to address the media on Wednesday morning, and Reds' management took a very tough stance against Chapman's antics.
"It's been addressed. It's over with. It won't happen again, ever," manager Dusty Baker said.
David Ortiz Bat Flip
Last year, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz famously flipped his bat after belting a long home run off New York Yankees pitcher Hector Noesi.
The action caused quite a stir in a rivalry that's been heated for ages, and Ortiz claimed it was nothing.
"That's Papi style. You've seen that before," he said at the time. "I just went deep. You want more emotion than that?"
No, Papi, actually I want a lot less emotion than that. Many great hitters before you never felt the need to show anyone up, why should you?
A Man Who Simply Did It the Right Way, No Matter What the Sport
Barry Sanders registered 109 touchdowns during his incredible 10-year career with the Detroit Lions.
After every single one of those touchdowns, he simply handed the ball to the referee. No celebration, no styling.
Sanders realized that by showboating, he would bring unwanted attention to himself rather than demonstrating that everything he did was for the team.
Sanders must laugh to himself every time he sees a video of a celebration, whether it be football or baseball.
Gentlemen, do it like Barry. Act like you've been there before.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.