To go, or to not go: Gunnar Henderson’s choice to forgo cycle sparks debate amongst Orioles gamers, followers

Gunnar Henderson’s sprinkler celebration throughout the eighth inning Sunday was delayed.

As an alternative of his teammates prepared throughout the dugout wanting to spit water for the second half of the doubles celebration, they regarded on the 22-year-old rookie with exasperated expressions.

Henderson had merely handed up the prospect to hit for the cycle — an achievement solely seven players in Orioles historic previous have achieved — by sprinting earlier first on his rocket down the right topic line and cruising into second for a double.

The selection by Henderson sparked a debate between Orioles players — and followers on-line — about whether or not or not he must have stayed at first to secure the unusual feat.

“If it was me, I might’ve fallen at first base and simply stayed there, you understand?” shortstop Jorge Mateo talked about with a smile by means of workforce interpreter Brandon Quinones. “However he has each proper to make his personal choice, and he selected to go to second.”

Henderson talked about he contemplated what he would do in such a state of affairs sooner than his at-bat, choosing to play the game as common and let the chips fall the place they may.

“I simply sort of settled on the very fact if it was meant to be, it could be a real single,” he talked about. “I felt like that’s simply the way in which I play and it wasn’t meant to be.”

Most of his teammates didn’t agree. He talked about 95% of them thought he must’ve remained at first considering the historic nature of hitting for a cycle. It could’ve been the second Orioles cycle this yr as Cedric Mullins achieved the feat Could 12 in opposition to the Pirates. The solely Orioles players to take motion are Austin Hays (2022), Jonathan Villar (2019), Félix Pie (2009), Aubrey Huff (2007), Cal Ripken Jr. (1984) and Brooks Robinson (1960).

“I used to be simply attempting to play the sport the precise method,” Henderson talked about.

One of many few to return again to his safety was Ryan Mountcastle.

“I’m on his facet,” the first baseman talked about. “Within the second, I’m like, ‘Ah, a 10-run recreation, you possibly can actually simply keep at first.’ However I feel I overheard him say you’ve obtained to play the sport the precise method, and he did. That was a double for certain.”

When Henderson turned to the dugout after the double — his fourth extra-base hit of the afternoon in Baltimore’s 12-1 win over the Oakland Athletics — he regarded confusedly on the response from his teammates. He then did an abbreviated sprinkler, nevertheless his teammates had been too flabbergasted to hold up their end of the bargain by spraying water from their mouths. The only one to take motion in view of the printed’s television cameras was Dean Kremer, who slowly spit the water out of his mouth instead of doing so with the on a regular basis gusto.

Mullins, Adam Frazier and Ryan McKenna all had their palms up in puzzlement. James McCann gesticulated his displeasure with plenty of arm waves. Danny Coulombe shrugged as Henderson stood on second, and the American League Rookie of the 12 months frontrunner gave what Mid-Atlantic Sports activities Community announcer Kevin Brown referred to as a “sheepish grin” in return.

“And you understand what? Gunnar Henderson will not be gonna cease at first,” Brown talked about as a result of the star infielder rounded first. “Who wants a cycle when you possibly can choose up your fourth extra-base hit of the sport? The Orioles bench is saying you must’ve stopped at first.”

“The entire bench is wanting him to place the brakes on at first base, however he’s wound tight,” Brown’s shade commentator Ben McDonald talked about. “There isn’t a method he’s stopping at first base.”

As Henderson smiles in path of the first base dugout at Oakland Coliseum, his supervisor gave a smile of approval in return.

“You realize what? Gunnar performs the sport at one velocity, and that’s laborious. And that’s the precise method,” Hyde talked about. “Except he tripped over the bag, I didn’t see that going down because of that’s how exhausting he performs.

“Possibly he’s engaged on his OPS. He performs the sport 1,000,000 miles an hour. It’d be laborious for him, I’m certain, to drag up.”

Hitting for the cycle is doubtless one of many hardest feats to carry out in baseball. However as one in every of many Orioles’ best players in his first full large league season, Sunday perhaps wasn’t Henderson’s last likelihood to take motion.

“He’s going to have 650 at-bats a 12 months for some time now,” Hyde talked about. “So I feel he’s going to have the chance.”

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