If you watched Ricky Romero leave the field in a fit of body-convulsing expletives after the seventh inning last night, then his frustrated rant in the post game shouldn't have come as any surprise. We're sure that getting taken deep by the opposing pitcher is infuriating enough, but to have it done to you when you have no margin for error is probably enough to send any competitive soul into paroxysms of rage.
We're not going to channel out inner Emily Post and tell you whether or not if it was good manners to underscore the failings of his teammates in a public forum. If such a thing offends your sensibilities, that's fine, we get how it could be taken as poor form. But then, such a thought is what results in all the "110%", "one game at a time", "best shape of my life", "win as a team, lose as a team" platitudes that have become the white noise of sports journalism.
Here's the thought to which we've been returning over the past half-hour: Ricky Romero is not unlike our patron saint around here. Back in his day, Dave Stieb used to glare at infielders who didn't make plays behind him, and earned himself a reputation as a "not nice" guy (which, in polite Canadian society is just a small step beneath "war criminal" in terms of justifications for public scorn.) But Stieb's excellence was born of a singular focus on perfecting his own craft, and a fierce competitive streak that drove him to rise above and improve his performance.
Two seasons ago, a 24 year-old Romero was getting one more shot to prove he could contribute after an unspectacular minor league career. What he's done since to refine his game (and in particular, the mental aspects of using his pitches more astutely) is commendable, and surely stoked by the same fire that leads a player to vent frustration after seeing one teammate after another wave weakly at balls down and away.
(Seriously: RickyRo mad contact with a couple of pitches, and as such, had better at bats than either Aaron Hill or Rajai Davis last night. He's got a leg to stand on.)
The fact is that after posting 4.8 runs per game over the first two months of the season, the Jays have slid back in the month of June so far, managing 4.2 runs per outing. This can be attributed, as RickRo rightly pointed out, to not getting on base (OBP for April/May: .331; for June: .296) and not taking advantage of the opportunities (SLG drops from .424 to .382 for same time periods.)
Maybe you buy into some bullshit athlete's code, and maybe this should have "stayed in the room". But you can't question the truth of what Romero said, and we don't think you can question his motivations.