Fines for violating MLB’s sometimes justified/sometimes ridiculous pace of play rules aren’t a new thing. Yet apparently, they’re news to Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees.
On Tuesday night, Gardner complained about being fined six times this year for a total of a whopping $3,500. His crime, according to MLB? Not walking from the on-deck circle to home plate fast enough.
“Nothing I say about that is going to do me any good,” Gardner said before the Yankees hosted the Braves on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
Gardner said the issue that led to the fine, according to MLB, is that he takes too long to walk from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box before he hits.
The New York Post reported that Gardner has been fined a total of about $3,500 for six violations.
“My agent started taking care of it,” Gardner said. “I told them don’t talk to me about it. I’ve got more things to worry about than taking three seconds too long to get to the box. Somebody else can [throw pickoff throws to first base] 27 times in a game and waste 15 minutes of everybody’s time, and I get fined thousands of dollars taking three seconds too long to get in the box.”
Brett – walk faster. It’s not that hard.
The complaints seem even more petty when you realize that Gardner is making $11 million this year, which comes out to roughly $7,800 per inning (assuming Gardner plays every inning of every game this season, which he hasn’t). Once the 2018 season is over, Gardner will have pocketed over $62 million in his career, and he’s bitching about $3,500 in fines for something that was collectively bargained by MLB and the MLBPA.
Look, I get it – being fined sucks, especially for what appears to be a trifling thing. But when you make a shitload of money, and when the trifling thing in question you’re being fined for is *so damn easy* to rectify, I’m having some trouble feeling much sympathy.
And for the record, with the admission that this is completely unscientific and was timed using MLB.com’s timestamps on game broadcasts, Gardner took a whopping 35 seconds until he was ready to hit in the second inning during Tuesday night’s game with the Braves. If you can’t shave five or ten seconds off of your pre-at bat routine, maybe you shouldn’t complain about getting fined for pace of play violations.