Tempers flared Saturday at Petco Park when Reds veteran Joey Votto, incensed at being rung up on a check-swing strike three, gave home-plate umpire Ryan Additon a piece of his mind, resulting in his 13th career ejection. Manager David Bell quickly came to Votto’s defense, chiming in with a few choice words of his own before also being sent to an early shower.
During all this mayhem, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., cognizant that the 162-game grind of a major-league baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint, kicked back (quite literally) and watched the sparks fly from a restful spot on the outfield grass. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Zen personified.
More so perhaps than any other sport, baseball is a war of attrition, and within that agonizing seven-month trek from spring training to the bright lights of October, you have to grab those fleeting moments of peace wherever you can find them, even if that means taking a first-inning Siesta in left field. You have to appreciate the paradox of Tatis Jr., alternating between menacing (he launched a mammoth, 477-foot homer earlier this week) and meditative. It’s even more astounding the 22-year-old was able to achieve such serenity with Bell and Votto airing their grievances in increasingly hostile fashion not more than 100 feet away.
Tatis Jr., who finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 2020, continues to lay waste to National League pitching, slugging 22 homers—one shy of the MLB lead held by Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.—in 55 appearances this season.