The "Blue Jacket"

- jim Young

“La Gente Del Barrio (The People Of The Neighbourhood)”, It’s a Tito Thing - Hector Lebron

Special achievements deserve special awards. While money can be a great motivator, it isn’t the only motivator. And contrary to popular belief it isn’t even always the best motivator. 

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life, like a gold star or a pat on the back that can motivate people the most. It’s recognition from your peers, the people you respect and admire. A sense of belonging. 

In 2011, the MLB banned milestone bonuses from being recognized as part of a player’s contract, effectively outlawing a bonus for a player achieving 3,000 hits, 500 home runs etc. 

And while there may be no extra money for something like hitting a home run in Major League Baseball, it does not diminish the batter’s desire to hit one out of the park every time he gets up to bat.

Just to make it a little more fun (because after all, when it comes right down to it, baseball is still a game) the players sometimes like to come up with their own little extra incentives and rewards. 

Like the laundry cart a batter gets a ceremonial ride in for hitting a home run that the Boston Red Sox have implemented, or the “Blue Jacket” that a Blue Jays batter will proudly sport to strut through the dugout following his run around the bases.

It’s all in good fun.

What I don’t get is why Blue Jays Pitchers are now wearing the “Blue Jacket”. I thought it was a prize for hitting a home run. Yep - there it is, right on the right breast of the jacket “Blue Jays HR Club”.

I’m not trying to diminish the achievements of pitchers like Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah who wore the jacket for reaching 10 Strikeouts in a game, but 10 Strikeouts is not a Home Run. A Home Run is a Home Run.

Can we expect to see Bichette wearing the “Blue Jacket” for the most steals? Will Hernandez wear it for hitting the most RBIs?

And what’s a Catcher’s special equivalent of a Home Run? Oh yeah. Jansen and Kirk have to get out there and actually hit a Home Run just like all the other batters. 

There is no grey area in the definition of a Home Run. A "Home Run" is a hit by a batter that allows them to run around the bases and score a run without getting out. That’s pretty much it.

Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah are not even batters. That's just the first requirement.

Hey! You did a good job guys. No one is trying to take away from your achievements.

But since when does complimenting what one person achieves take away from another individual's achievement?

Were the pitchers’ feelings hurt because they weren’t included? Or is this just another victim of political correctness gone too far? It seems you can’t compliment or recognize one group of people without including everyone anymore.

Maybe the pitchers need to have a jacket of their own to wear - just not the “Blue Jacket”.

If the Blue Jays pitchers are feeling left out because they don't have a “jacket” of their own to wear, maybe they should go pitch in the National League and hit a REAL home run themselves.

And if Guerrero or Dickerson want to wear a “10 Strike Out Jacket”, let them have a go in the bullpen.

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