Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman brushed off critical comments made by former MLB pitcher and current NESN color commentator Dennis Eckersley on Saturday by calling him a "clown" and a "hypocrite."
After striking out Boston Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Nunez to end the sixth inning of a 6-1 victory, a fired-up Stroman celebrated on his way into the dugout:
It proved to be the final batter of the day for the right-hander, who struck out six batters in six innings of shutout baseball.
Eckersley, though, was not a fan of the visiting pitcher's theatrics, calling the celebrations "tired."
Stroman got wind of Eckersley's comments and took to social media to respond, saying, "His comments are always trash" in one tweet. He then laughed off the criticism while calling the broadcaster a "clown," and he also called the former pitcher a "hypocrite" while highlighting one of the former Oakland A's reliever's celebrations.
The 64-year-old Eckersley may have an old-school approach to the game, but as Stroman pointed out, the Hall of Famer was also known to celebrate on the mound during his playing days.
As for the 28-year-old Blue Jays star, Stroman is an unapologetically emotional player. And he has made it clear in the past that he will not change the way he plays the game regardless of any criticism he may receive.
He told reporters back in July 2017:
"I'm an emotional guy. I'm going to continue to be myself regardless of who doesn't like it, who likes it. I'm always going to be myself regardless here on out.
"I'm emotional. That's how I pitch. That's what I pride myself on. That what allows me to be my best out there and that's how it's going to continue to be day-in and day-out. So if you don't like it, it's OK.
"... I feel like showing emotion and passion is part of the game and by doing so you're able to play at your most elite level."
There was a time in which showing emotion on the diamond was frowned upon. In the era of "Let the kids play," it's becoming more commonplace—and Stroman has been among those leading the way in adding some flair to the game.
This is not the first time comments made by Eckersley during a broadcast has ruffled a player's feathers. Back in 2017, Red Sox pitcher David Price reportedly confronted Eckersley for his "yuck" comment in regard to Boston reliever Eduardo Rodriguez.