Pirates Announcer Steve Blass Rips Ronald Acuna Jr.'s Jewelry, 'All That Stuff'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) avoids being hit by a pitch from Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg during a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Steve Blass took issue with Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.'s decision to wear jewelry on the field during Tuesday's game between the Pirates and Braves at PNC Park.

After Pirates pitcher Steven Brault seemingly hit Acuna on the elbow with a 2-2 pitch inadvertently, Blass suggested that pitchers may have thrown at Acuna intentionally had he played during his era, according to Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports: "I was getting ready to say, you know. With a young player doing all that stuff and all the jewelry and all the stuff, back in the day—I'm not saying it's right or wrong."

The 77-year-old Blass spent 10 seasons as a pitcher for the Pirates (1964, 1966-74), during which time he went 103-76 with a 3.63 ERA, one All-Star nod and one World Series title.

After Acuna, who had multiple necklaces around his neck, stared in at Brault upon getting hit by the pitch, Blass added: "Give it a rest. You think he's trying to throw at you?"

Pittsburgh was up 5-2 when Acuna got hit, but Atlanta stormed back with 10 unanswered runs to win the game 12-5.

Acuna went 2-for-4 with a run scored and continued to show why he is one of the best young players in Major League Baseball. So far this season, the 21-year-old outfielder is hitting .281 with 11 home runs, 34 RBI and eight stolen bases.

Regardless of the intent behind Brault's pitch, Acuna and the Braves got the last laugh, as they improved to 33-27 on the year and remained a half-game behind the Philadelphia Phillies for first place in the National League East.