There is no sport better at creating and perpetuating the dumbest possible look for itself than baseball. One day we're watching along as the sport legitimately debates the merits of choking a teammate, the next we've got Bud Fucking Norris talking about culture and ethnicity. We're here today because USA Today did a study on "67 bench-clearing incidents in Major League Baseball over the past five seasons" and determined that an overwhelming majority of them pitted players of different ethnicities against each other. Half of the cases were white-American vs. Latino. This is your basic culture clash article we've read a million times in baseball with a weirdo study into bench clearing brawls as the new focus.
Most of the time, everyone involved in the debate speaks in coded language: "white players abide unwritten rules, Latinos are too flashy," or "white guys have names like Lenny, whereas black guys have names like Carl." But Bud Norris, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres with a 6.98 ERA this year, who willingly goes by the name "Bud" just dispatched with all of that.
This is amazing. I believe Bud Norris just said that baseball was invented in the United States and therefore if you come to play baseball in the United States, you better shape up or ship out. It is baseball's version of "Speak American." That is an incredible thing to say for a guy born all the way back in 1985. "You better have a pretty good understanding of what this league is and how long it's been around." A fair point. This league has been around since at least 1946, I'm told, which was the last year it was 100 percent white, despite far better African Americans playing in the Negro Leagues. (Also it was called the Negro Leagues. History!)
The simple fact is many people are assholes, which means many athletes are assholes and perhaps even a higher proportion of athletes are assholes because athletics rely on arrogance and cartoonish self confidence to produce greatness. When a player gets pissed off about a specific incident with a specific person, it is because he is shamed. He failed when his entire life is premised on victory. So now he's angry, but he needs a reason better than "I failed" because that just does not compute. So he latches on to a secondary grievance: flashiness, pimping a home run, whatever. Which then becomes a culture thing and then it becomes self-fulfilling; he doesn't even realize he's doing it.
This goes for fans, too. If you take the time to think about this logically and unemotionally, you realize that the reason you hate, say, Edwin Encarnacion's Parrot Elbow thing is because you're a Yankees fan and he just hit a home run against you. Sure, you tell yourself that it's because he's showing up the pitcher or something, but deep down in that rotten sports-obsessed heart you know it's because the home run makes you feel bad. So you yell about how the Bad Man should have some damn respect and not do the Bad Thing that you don't like. It is a sports defense mechanism and everyone does it. Throw in some casual racism and you've got yourself an ethnic divide.
But there is no "culture shock," Bud, there are only people trying to process failure. And it turns out we're no good at that, either.