On Saturday, after the the young first base Kendry Morales hit a game-ending grand slam in the 10th inning of the Angels’ 5-1 victory against Seattle, Morales had to be carted away from home plate and sent to the hospital. Morales broke his left leg after landing awkwardly at home plate. Followed by his team pummeling him in their celebration. Morales was throwing his arms in the air, trying to get his team to stop.
Morales wasn’t arguably the Angels’ best hitter. He was the Angels’ best hitter, forget any arguments. He was the only batter who carried menace with him into the batter’s box. He led them in batting average (.290), home runs (11) and RBIs (39). He built that on top of a foundation in 2009 in which he finished fifth in MVP balloting. He was an up-and-coming superstar and to see his career trajectory slowed by such an unnecessary mishap borders on tragic.
Looks like the Angels will be without their first baseman for another 10-12 weeks. Morales will also being going in for surgery today.
“All it takes is something like this to happen and make you take a second look,” general manager Tony Reagins said. “Hopefully, there are some adjustments in the celebrations.”
The Angels’ players went from throbbing in unison around the plate to staring in disbelief at their feet, Morales lying there in a heap, his foot bent in a direction feet aren’t meant to go. What was the mood at that point?
“Anytime you have a walk-off hit, everybody celebrates at home plate,” said starting pitcher Jered Weaver, who was icing his arm while watching the situation unfold on television. “It was just a fluke thing. You never want to see anything like that happen to a guy like that who’s having a great start to the season – or anybody for that matter. Hopefully it’s not as serious as we think, but we’re going to have to deal with it. Obviously, we’re going to have to change the way we go about celebrating something like that.”
So where does this lead the rest of the major league teams? Obviously a lot of teams will change the way they celebrate walk off homeruns. However, many teams will see it as a fluke and not bother to change anything.
What do you think? Should teams change the way they celebrate walk off home runs?