Tampa Bay Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier found the Blue Jays scouting card. Is it his to keep?
Starting as children, we often heard the chant, “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” It was always fine if you were the finder, but it seemed pretty harsh if you were the loser.
Perhaps that is why it was often said as a joke, but the result stuck, nonetheless. Depending upon which side you were on determined the fairness and validity of the adage.
Such was the case on Monday night, when Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier made a discovery when he was tagged out at the plate. Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk, in making the tag, had dropped his “cheat sheet” that included how Toronto would pitch to Rays’ hitters.
Kiermaier found the card sitting on the ground next to him, picked it up and carried it back to the Tampa Bay dugout.
This led to a later plunking from the Jays on Wednesday as pitcher Ryan Borucki seemed to weigh in.
Fans in Toronto, too, do not think the “finders keepers, losers weepers” chant is legitimate. They were also incensed by balls incorrectly being called strikes in the decisive ninth-inning of the game, but that is another story.
Sportsnet, a Canadian sports network, took a look at the story on its website, and in the “comments” section, much criticism was aimed at Kiermaier.
Several comments said a fastball should have been aimed at his head the next time he came to bat. Hopefully, such comments were not meant literally, inasmuch as possibly killing someone seems extreme punishment for picking up a dropped “cheat sheet.”
Former Blue Jays All-Star Vernon Wells had a simple answer for losing the card: Just do away with it.
Wells’ point is perhaps the most relevant to the game of baseball today. Perhaps because of all the analytics and the changes they bring, having a cheat sheet is something that would have been unheard of in years past.
But now, there are hot and cold zones for each hitter, there are defensive shifts for each hitter, and other resultant changes. Is there now too much info for a player to remember?
That, however, is another question that is different than the one about Kiermaeir keeping the card.
Is it correct to simply say Kiermaier showed poor sportsmanship by keeping the card? Would fans’ feelings on both sides be different if a Rays player had dropped the card and it had been found by a Blue Jays player? Does the fact that both teams are competing in a pennant race make it more important?
These are some questions that arise from the incident. There do not seem to be any clearly-agreed upon answers.