Marcus Stroman with the Blue Jays.

Marcus Stroman pitches with a competitive fire and big-time confidence, but players like Tim Anderson shouldn’t confuse that with being disrespectful.

There’s been some talk recently about Marcus Stroman from certain people criticizing him for having too much attitude.  Let’s just pause for a moment and think back to the incident in question that led to much of this criticism.

In a game against the White Sox last week, Stroman struck out Chicago’s young shortstop, Tim Anderson.  After striking out Anderson, Stroman, like any other pitch would do, walked behind the mound to watch as his teammates threw the ball around the infield before tossing it back to their pitcher.  During all this time, as Anderson walked to his dugout, he was constantly staring back at Stroman.  Upon receiving the ball from Josh Donaldson, and turning around to head back to the mound, Stroman noticed that Anderson for some odd reason was still staring him down.  This is when Stroman walked briskly towards Anderson, asking him what his problem was.

Stroman did absolutely nothing wrong when striking out Anderson.  There was no celebration of any kind and yet Anderson felt slighted and believed a stare down was in order.

The problem with striking out in the big leagues, is it creates one of the more awkward moments in the sport.  When a batter is forced to make the long walk back to the dugout and is unsure how to react.  Something we’ve been seeing more of these days as players try to find things to do during the 7-8 second walk of shame, is for them to look back at the pitcher as if to see whether or not they’re being disrespected in any way.  Anderson’s way of doing this is on the extreme end of how it’s done, because not only does he look back for far too long, he does so when it’s not even justified.

Stroman plays the game with his heart on his sleeve, and a raw emotion that contributes to making him as great as he is.  I’ve never been a fan of players who have attitude problems, but never have I felt Stroman is one of those players.  At times he has a tendency to be a little over the top with his celebrations, but this is excusable and something he’ll grow out of as he gets older.

There have been times in the past when I wasn’t proud to have certain players on the Blue Jays because of the way they carried themselves on the field.  Never have I felt this way about Stroman, a player who simply plays the game with a heart and enthusiasm that any team would be proud to have on their side.

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