In professional sports, there are no bigger creatures of habit than MLB starting pitchers. It takes a seriously disciplined routine to be mentally and physically ready to empty the tank every five days. It’s no wonder they’re often so nervous that the game doesn’t start exactly on time can trigger them (cough, Gerritt Cole). Or, an awkward look with a referee can get them kicked out in the first inning (cough, Madison Bumgarner).
New York Mets ace Max Scherzer falls firmly into that lunatic camp, the rare type who treats his job like life and death rather than a game. It was on full display Friday night when Scherzer took the mound before the Mets’ home game against the Seattle Mariners at Citi Field. In a seemingly innocent clip, Scherzer beats the ceremonial first pitcher to the mound and doesn’t let the guy throw the first pitch. Just Mad Max being Mad Max, right?
On first viewing, it seems normal, Mad Max stuff. The man gets paid dearly to throw a baseball and he takes it very seriously, which is part of his charm. When it comes time to step on the slab, Max Scherzer is on the effing slab and no one tells him otherwise. The problem here was that it was hardly “nobody” that Scherzer eclipsed.
Unfortunately for Scherzer, the internet did its damn thing and discovered that the ceremonial first pitcher was Mikio Mori, Ambassador and Consul General of Japan. Mori is in town for the first-ever Japanese parade in New York in honor of Japan Day. , which will take place on Saturday, per SILive.com Before that, however, Mori was supposed to throw the first pitch Friday night at Citi Field, but Scherzer had other ideas.
Worse still, at Citi Field Friday night was Japanese Heritage Night, and it marked the 150th anniversary of the introduction of baseball to the United States in Japan. Another headline might have read “Scherzer denies Japanese ambassador’s first launch at Japanese Heritage Night at Citi Field, ahead of Japan Day Parade in NYC,” but that may have been a bit hard.
Listen, it’s just a predicament all around. If we’re fair and we truly believe that Scherzer is certified work on the days he gets the ball, then there’s almost no way he has any idea who that person was or what night it was. was at Citi Field and/or the importance of it. Scherzer has only one thing in mind and it’s his first pitch, which unfortunately came at the expense of that poor guy Mikio Mori. It could and probably should have been avoided (like having Mori throw the pitch a few minutes earlier), but what are you going to do. Unsurprisingly, the Mets lost. Bad mojo from the start.