Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Unsportsmanlike Conduct of Jesus Montero of the Palm Beach Cardinals

Jesus Montero, the hot-headed catcher for the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League seems to have a little bit of an issue with not only plate discipline but also personal discipline.  The following is an email I sent today to the general manager of the Palm Beach Cardinals and to the President of the Florida State League regarding the unsportsmanlike conduct of Jesus.  I wanted to send it to the St. Louis Cardinals Director of Player Development but couldn't find his email address.  I sent it to him by snail mail instead.  I have now christened Jesus as "Peroito" - or "my little lap dog" and Sanguineo" which means "quick tempered" or "the hot head" for the remainder of his tenure in a Palm Beach Cardinals uniform.  Jesus is a very slow learner.

April 9, 2014

Dear General Manager of the Palm Beach Cardinals

In case you weren't aware before you have a little issue that needs to be dealt with on the roster of the Palm Beach Cardinals.  Jesus Montero, the Palm Beach Cardinals catcher is in need of a little counseling and perhaps a good ass chewing.

In a game with the Bradenton Marauders on August 14, 2013, Mr. Montero stopped his activities and gave me the finger essentially saying "fuck you" to me as I heckled him from behind home plate at McKechnie Field. My heckling of the opposition was no different than it was for any other visiting player.  

In reviewing notes on Palm Beach players before last night's April 8 2014 game between the Cardinals and Marauders I discovered a notation about Montero giving me the finger last year.  This led to immediate reminders of that incident each time Montero came to bat last night.  In the 6th inning of last night's game, after Montero made a mistake behind home plate, he turned around and mouthed the words "Fuck You" to me.   Then later, in the 9th inning when Montero was at bat he received more than the usual amount of attention from me and my colleague Dave Hilsheimer.  When Montero struck out and Hilsheimer did his now-famous march back to the dugout, Montero turned around and in front of the entire crowd gave us the finger again!  His actions were obvious enough that nearly the entire stadium responded when they saw him.  Not only does this reflect badly on Montero and demonstrate his lack of maturity, it also reflects negatively on the Palm Beach and St. Louis organizations.

Heckling is as much a part of the game as is throwing strikes or hitting a home run. And if players at this level (Advanced A) can't handle a little verbal distraction by two retirees in the stands behind home plate, they will never survive a place like the stadiums and fans in Philadelphia or New York.  Montero's repeated use of giving opposing fans the finger on top of him openly and obviously mouthing the words "fuck you" to a fan he doesn't like suggests to me that he is not mature enough to be allowed on a professional baseballl field.  

What is Montero going to do with the next fan he doesn't like?  Will the Palm Beach Cardinals pay for his legal defense if he comes off the field and shoves a knife into a fan who pestered him?  We live in a state where everyone and their brother carries a gun and where shooting someone and claiming you were standing your ground is almost an art form. What will the Cardinals do if this little hot head shoots someone who pesters him between innings?

For me personally I love the fact that Mr. Montero is so easily flummoxed on the field and if he thinks giving fans the finger is going to stop us from heckling he is completely misinformed.  In fact Montero's actions last night only served to earn him more unwanted attention and at a louder, more personal level.  Bottom line from this, however, is that the Palm Beach Cardinals and the St Louis Cardinals organization have a walking powder keg on their hands with Mr. Montero. If you take no action on reprimanding Montero for his unsportsmanlike behavior and he ultimately harms a fan he doesn't like, then both Palm Beach and St. Louis can never say "we had no idea" because now you do.

I wanted to include the St. Louis Cardinals director of player development on this email but couldn't find his email address.  I will copy the email and mail it to him instead.

Craig Faanes