Nutshell: Kevin Kiermaier and the Blue Jays are Right
Kevin Kiermaier's card-stealing antics got him in some trouble, deservedly so.
One of the more humorous storylines in MLB recently has been the Kevin Kiermaier/Blue Jays saga surrounding a scouting report cheat sheet. Earlier this week, the Rays centerfielder and renowned glove-twirler was thrown out at home in a game against Toronto. However, a piece of paper fell out of Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk's wristband in the process, landing just beside Kiermaier. Kirk didn't notice, but Kiermaier did. He scooped up what ended up being the Blue Jays' scouting report on Rays hitters, something Kirk uses to call pitches.
Toronto soon got word of this tomfoolery, causing Ryan Borucki to plunk him in the back with a 93-MPH heater the following game. Borucki and Jays manager Charlie Montoyo have been suspended three games.
There's a lot of ways to look at this. In my eyes though, both Kevin Kiermaier and the Blue Jays acted appropriately. *GASP*
These guys aren't boy scouts. If you're going to give MLB players an edge, or an opportunity for an edge, they're going to take it. Every time. The fact that the card unknowingly fell out of Kirk's wrist band is just careless on his part. Check your belongings after a chaotic play at the plate next time. If Kiermaier decided to run the card over to the Jays dugout, more power to him. But you can't expect that. These are grown men playing a sport with literally billions of dollars on the line, not to mention this specific game was between two division rivals with the playoffs in sight. I would have taken it too.
HAVING SAID THAT...the Jays had to do something to Kiermaier. Those scouting reports are incredibly important. A team in their position can't let something like that slide. Was it kinda sorta their fault? Yes, as I explained earlier. Should it go unchecked? Hell no.
This isn't the kind of infraction that can be handled by revenge showboating, i.e. they pimp a home run off you, you pimp a strike out off them. This is not a crime of passion, but one of thievery. Much like when a hitter is caught peaking at the catcher's signs, the automatic response is to make him wear one in the thigh, ass, or back. Always has been. Probably always will. Kiermaier was not hurt during the plunking in question, he probably just has a gnarly bruise. It's safe to say the score has been settled.
In my book, this was an appropriate squabble, from both sides. I haven't seen many people on the Twitter machine agree with me, so you probably don't either, reader of this article. Was I at least entertaining, though?