Dodgers Pitcher Stands Up Against Butt-Slapping Ritual In Baseball

Max Scherzer may be new to the squad of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he’s making some big changes. In the last few years, there’s certainly been a lot of things that have changed culture-wise. Things like the, “Me too” movement have sparked a ton of positive change when it comes to harassment in the workplace. This has allowed things like the “casting couch” to be outlawed from Hollywood movie sets. There have been other practices that have seemingly inexplicably been allowed to continue. Such is the case of the famous butt slapping in sports! Granted, this famous form of celebration is way less severe than the casting couch example. It’s still an awkward practice. Players, though, are starting to stand up against it!

A Bit of Context …

For those people who are just learning that sports players slap each other in the behind as a form of congratulations, here’s a bit of context. Mainly, the context is yes, it’s a long-standing custom that players and particularly coaches will slap players in the behind when they make a good play. This is something that you can commonly see in sports like baseball and football. It’s a practice that can be seen at the amateur level all the way to the pros.

Not Everyone Is Comfortable With This Practice

George Lopez at Dodger Stadium

It seems pretty obvious that not everyone in the world is going to be ok with having their behind padded. It’s not like there’s some sort of consent form that MLB players sign for this type of thing. Max Scherzer is a relatively new pitcher for the Dodgers falls in the category of players that don’t love this form of congratulations and Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts found out the hard way. Roberts ended each inning of Scherzer’s Dodgers’ debut by patting him on the behind. At the end of the fourth inning, Scherzer had, had enough and literally told his coach “Don’t f*ing touch me”.

Roberts Wasn’t Given The Heads Up

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We essentially know this story because Dave Roberts relayed it the other night to the crew that was doing Sunday Night Baseball, at a Dodgers game. Apparently, some of the other players on the Dodgers knew ahead of time that Max Scherzer was one of those guys who doesn’t like to get touched in those areas. They forgot to tell Roberts until after the awkward situation went down. Roberts remembers that later on his players warned him, saying,

“Then I got the scoop from our players, like, ‘Hey Doc, make sure you don’t touch him, he doesn’t want anybody touching him.”

They Got Things Worked Out

Ryosuke Yagi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Luckily for the Dodgers, Scherzer and Roberts were able to quickly work out the misunderstanding without too much trouble. Roberts mentioned that Scherzer later told him

“Yeah, and I gave you the tempered, most respectful way I could say it, because this is my job. I don’t need any kind of congratulations or support,”

Roberts went on to say that Scherzer would be exempt from the butt padding tradition. Again though, with how things have changed over the past few years, it seems odd to think this butt padding tradition remains. There seem to be so many more effective ways to congratulate someone!

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