Cubs News: David Ross, players defend Fernando Tatis Jr’s grand slam

Cubs manager David Ross looks on from the dugout. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Cubs manager David Ross looks on from the dugout. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, and Steven Souza Jr. spoke out in support of Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr’s 3-0 slam.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is quickly becoming one of baseball’s biggest stars in this pandemic season, but recently, his style of play upset Rangers manager Chris Woodward as well as his own manager Jayce Tingler.

After hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 count while up seven late in a game, Tatis infuriated the Texas skipper by breaking one of the unwritten rules of baseball. Members of the Chicago Cubs and players around the league came out in support of the young Padres shortstop’s decision to swing.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo defended the young slugger with some simple logic: he did what baseball players are paid to do. Even with a bigger lead, “Our job is to get a hit every single time we go to the plate,” he stated on an episode of ESPN 1000’s “Kap & Co.” Moreover, Rizzo pointed out that the logic of taking that pitch just isn’t feasible anymore due to an abundance of pitchers throwing offspeed on 3-0.

Another player clearly annoyed by Woodward and Tingler’s line of thinking was Steven Souza Jr. Souza’s never been afraid to share his opinion on baseball matters and he went as far as to characterize this manner of dictating when you swing as bullying in a strong statement on Twitter:

Even manager David Ross had something to say regarding the situation per NBC Sports Chicago, further bolstering the support for Tatis Jr. Despite being an “old school” manager, Ross stated that the old baseball codes weren’t scripture to him like some players and he’d “…want my best players swinging as often as possible [3-0], if they’ve got a plan.” It’s this mindset of allowing his hitters to flourish that’s allowed Ross to be a Manager of the Year candidate so far.

It’s fair to say that Tatis Jr. is one of those players you want swinging given his incredible start to the season and any opportunity to hit a grand slam and lock up a game should be taken. The onus is on the pitcher to try and get a batter out, not on the batter to show them mercy in this situation.

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Of all the members of the Chicago Cubs, I tend to agree most with the sentiments of Souza. This really feels like an instance of the unwritten rules overstepping boundaries to hold down a young player with lots of swagger and a bat on fire. There are times when taking is a good thing and grinding out at-bats is helpful, but not swinging at a 3-0 meatball because some unwritten rule says so is both counter-intuitive to the objective of the hitter and incredibly lame.