Back to the task at hand
George Kirby's postgame comments have made waves around the baseball world, but is there anything to be worried about? Let's talk about it.
“I wish I wasn’t out there for the seventh, to be honest,” Kirby said. “I was at [more than] 90 pitches. I didn’t think I needed to go anymore. But it is what it is.”
By now you have probably heard the comments made by Mariners All Star starting pitcher George Kirby, as they have been circulated as one of the most viral stories in the sport. Everybody has their own takes on the comment, so I thought I would chime in.
George Kirby is a hell of a competitor, which has been on full display in every single start as a Seattle Mariner. In my time in the clubhouse, his interviews have typically been more intense than any player I have been around. He wants to succeed and wants to win at all costs.
One famous story that my mind always goes to is Kirby telling an umpire after a start in Peoria to, “Do your f—king job.” He’s a psychopath, just like most great competitors.
His postgame comments yesterday were unacceptable, and I would be willing to bet he knows that. He has every right to feel the way he did, but to express these feelings to the media is unacceptable. Manager Scott Servais will absolutely handle this and the two will move past it, but you cannot bypass your manager to express feelings to the media.
With that being said, George is just 25 years old. He is experiencing his first prolonged stretch of failure since establishing himself as a high-quality professional starting pitcher, a period of failure that has come at a crucial time for his team.
Kirby expressed his remorse about the remarks today to the media, saying that he “screwed up” and had already apologized to Servais.
“Obviously I screwed up. That’s not me. Skip has always got to pry that ball out of my hands. Just super uncharacteristic of me as a player and who I am out on that mound. I love competing. Like I said, I just screwed up.”
No matter how you feel about these comments, here are the facts. The Seattle Mariners have a 25-year-old Cy Young candidate and they are lucky to have him. He shut out the Orioles just a month ago. He went toe to toe with the vaunted Houston Astros in the first playoff game in Seattle in 20 years and stared down Jose Altuve.
His comments showed youth and inexperience, but his performance in just two years has been beyond his years. Kirby is a star in the making, and at this point, we have WAY more evidence that shows us he is a fierce competitor than the opposite.
The Seattle Mariners are in the heat of a playoff race and simply don’t have time to worry about things like this. It’s time to start stacking victories and winning baseball games, bringing playoff baseball to the Pacific Northwest for the second year in a row.
In a few weeks if and when George Kirby dominates to help elevate the Mariners into the postseason, you won’t care what he said in Tampa. Enjoy this team, enjoy these players, and enjoy this run.
As I scrolled through the comments berating Kirby, I thought of a quote from my favorite show, as I often do. It feels pretty applicable here. GOMS.
“I hope that either all of us, or none of us, are judged by the actions of our weakest moments. But rather, by the strength we show when, and if, we're ever given a second chance.” - Ted Lasso
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