The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals have built up a nice rivalry over the past few seasons, thanks mainly in part to the Brewers finally have a competitive team that can compete with anyone.
The Cardinals have no doubt been annoyed that the Brewers have gotten the better of them on the field, but it's what the Brewers do after the game that has really caught the ire of the Cardinals' organization and fan base alike.
After every win, the Brewers collectively untuck their jerseys prior to going through their congratulatory "high-five" line. The Cardinals, especially Albert Pujols, sees this as a sign of disrespect and feels there is no place for such an action in the game.
Pujols recently said the following about the Brewers post-win ritual: "I see teams take their jerseys out when the game is over. To me, that's not professional. I don't care what you do when you get off the field, but don't do it on the field. You don't want kids to see negative things."
While Pujols is certainly allowed to his opinion and voice it, I'm not sure who made him the ethics police of Major League baseball.
The reason behind the Brewers' display is quite simple, and as it turns out, quite honorable.
Mike Cameron started the trend as a way to pay tribute to his father. Growing up, Cameron's father would come home and untuck his shirt after a hard day's work. Cameron now does the same as a show of respect for the man that instilled the values of hard work and discipline into his life.
The ritual has become so popular among the Brewers' team and their fans that it has spawned its very own web site. Untuckem has become not only a way to celebrate a victory, but also a way to show pride in a team, city, and state that prides itself on a hard day's work.
Prince Fielder continued the tradition of untucking the shirt after his victory in the Home Run Derby last night. Ironically enough, it came in front of Albert Pujols and his legion of fans in St. Louis.
No one seemed to mind Fielder's jersey getting untucked after the victory. He became the darling of the event when he began to routinely launch home runs that traveled 450 feet.
Fielder's longest home run traveled 503 feet. It earned him a standing ovation from the crowd. Fielder ended the night belting eight of the ten longest home runs in the derby.
Brewer fans will now have to wait and see if the derby has any long-term effects on Fielder's swing for the second half of the season. Should Fielder go into any sort of sustained slump, the Brewers' playoff chances will disappear quickly.
Monday was just another example that Fielder is a different player since signing his two-year, $18 million dollar contract over the winter. He has turned into a complete baseball player and leader of the Brewers.
The rest of the National League should fear both Fielder and the Brewers. After a rough first half of the season, Fielder will look to lead the Brewers back to the playoffs and give fans plenty of reasons to untuckem. No doubt Pujols and the rest of Cardinals nation will have a front row seat for the experience.
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