Wednesday’s game between the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds was full of controversy from the very beginning.
Before Elly De La Cruz went to hit for the first time, Nats manager Dave Martinez had the umpires check his bat for potential irregularities.
They didn’t find anything and the game continued.
In De La Cruz’s second at-bat, he walloped a long home run against Josiah Gray.
Immediately after making contact and realizing the ball was gone, he signaled to his bat and gestured towards the Nationals dugout.
He was apparently sending a message to Martinez, as if he was saying “hey, check this one too.”
The Reds ended up prevailing, 9-2, and De La Cruz had one of the best days of his young MLB career.
He went 3-for-6 with two runs, a homer, an RBI, and a stolen base.
Martinez spoke about the incident after the game.
He both praised and criticized De La Cruz.
“Nationals manager Dave Martinez on Elly De La Cruz: ‘I love the way he plays the game, but I didn’t like his antics after he hit the home run. We can do without that. He’s only got two weeks in the big leagues. But he’s gonna be a good player,’” FOX Sports MLB tweeted with some quotes by Washington’s skipper.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez on Elly De La Cruz:
“I love the way he plays the game, but I didn’t like his antics after he hit the home run. We can do without that. He’s only got two weeks in the big leagues. But he’s gonna be a good player.”
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 6, 2023
Martinez needs to understand the frustration by the player after he felt called out and accused of wrongdoing.
If Martinez did it just to distract or incriminate De La Cruz, he is in the wrong; but if he truly saw something suspicious, he has the right as a manager to have the umps check it out.
In the end, the issue shouldn’t be a lasting one by any means.