In baseball, catchers and batters are in close proximity to each other during each at-bat. They’re so close that it is easy for them to chat with each other, and sometimes when the catcher has his mask off you can see him talking to the batter.
But with players not being miked up, you never know what the players are saying. A lot of the time, they may be having a friendly talk or greeting each other. But do catchers ever trash batters? It’s a common question among baseball fans. Let’s explore the answer.
Does real-life look like the movies?
In baseball movies, it isn’t uncommon for catchers to talk trash to batters. But that is usually done for comedy or dramatic effect to build up the film’s storyline. With actual games being unscripted, it is unlikely that catchers talk trash as much as their entertainment counterparts.
Catchers in movies like to try to trash talk hitters to try to distract them, but real-life players often don’t do that because not distracting a hitter is probably one of the many unwritten rules of baseball that most players like to follow.
Why don’t catchers trash talk hitters?
There are many reasons why catchers don’t talk trash to other players. In addition to the aforementioned unwritten rules, with players changing teams frequently via trade or free agency, you never know when an opponent may become a teammate.
When you do get new teammates, you don’t want them to be upset with you right away. In the age of social media, you don’t want to get other players upset because they can let people know how you act by calling you out publicly if they don’t like the way you act.
That can hurt you by affecting your marketability if you’re perceived to be someone who doesn’t respect other players. It’s important for players to pay attention to that in an industry where you want to have a high level of popularity to really succeed.
What can happen if players talk trash?
There can be ramifications for talking trash, one of which could be the possibility that the player will talk to his teammates about what you do. If he does, then the pitchers on his team could decide to get back at you by throwing at you when you step into the batter’s box.
The risk of retaliation is something that players have to think about whenever dealing with their opponents. Talking trash isn’t worth potentially missing time with an injury due intentionally being hit by a pitch if you get a pitcher mad at you.
If things get too chippy between players, the situation can get even worse. Trash talking often leads to bench-clearing brawls, in which players from both teams get into it. That can have consequences that include fines and suspensions for the players who started the brawl or those who are the most involved in the kerfuffle.
One of the most famous brawls in recent memory came during the 2003 playoffs between the Yankees and Red Sox, with Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez throwing Yankees coach Don Zimmer to the ground during the altercation. That brawl started as a result of trash talk.
Martinez considered Yankees catcher Jorge Posada one of his biggest rivals in the sport and would make jokes about the catcher’s ears, calling him Dumbo. Posada would hit back at Martinez with his own trash talk, causing bad blood between the two when he mentioned Martinez’s mother in a negative light. That bad blood boiled over into the 2003 playoffs, leading to the infamous brawl in which 72-year-old Zimmer ended up on the ground.