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MLB players, others react to Snell decision

A-Rod, Vitale, Mahomes among sports figures to take to social media
@paul_casella
October 28, 2020

The Dodgers' World Series-clinching 3-1 victory in Game 6 had a little bit of everything, from Randy Arozarena capping his historic postseason with yet another home run to World Series MVP Corey Seager knocking in the go-ahead run to Mookie Betts once again impacting the game with both his legs

The Dodgers' World Series-clinching 3-1 victory in Game 6 had a little bit of everything, from Randy Arozarena capping his historic postseason with yet another home run to World Series MVP Corey Seager knocking in the go-ahead run to Mookie Betts once again impacting the game with both his legs and his bat.

Game Date Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 20 LAD 8, TB 3 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 21 TB 6, LAD 4 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 23 LAD 6, TB 2 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 24 TB 8, LAD 7 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 25 LAD 4, TB 2 Watch
Gm 6 Oct. 27 LAD 3, TB 1 Watch

But the moment that had players from across Major League Baseball (and even other professional sports) taking to social media was Rays manager Kevin Cash's decision to remove starter Blake Snell after 5 1/3 innings and 73 pitches.

Debate: Any defense of pulling Snell in G6?

While some fellow big league pitchers simply empathized with Snell's frustrations, many questioned Cash's rationale for removing his starter -- perhaps none more than 2009 World Series champion and FOX broadcaster Alex Rodriguez.

Snell pulled in 6th after dominant start

Rodriguez unleashed a series of tweets, starting as soon as Cash strolled to the mound to remove Snell:

Rodriguez then made a prediction that turned out to be pretty accurate, tweeting: "#Dodgers are thrilled. I mean THRILLED. They will thank the #Rays for this one. #WorldSeries"

After continuing his rant against analytics having too much control when it comes to decision-making, Rodriguez finished with the strongest statement of all:

Hall of Famer Frank Thomas echoed a similar sentiment, predicting the Rays' chances at a win walked right off the mound with Snell:

This year's National League Cy Young Award favorite, Trevor Bauer, took a more diplomatic approach, simply asking his followers whether they agreed with the decision.

Veteran left-hander Derek Holland got straight to the point, replying to Bauer's poll by saying, "Stupid move taking him out."

Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard was more harsh in his critique:

Plenty of other pitchers seemed to agree. White Sox ace Lucas Giolito tweeted: "Can’t believe they pull him here" with a skull emoji. Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales added: "Damn why take him out?!?! Wow." His former teammate and impending free agent Taijuan Walker echoed a similar sentiment, tweeting: "73 pitches... I’m hella mad for him" with a series of angry-face emojis. Zack Britton's reaction? A simple shrug emoji.

Dallas Keuchel, who won the 2015 AL Cy Young Award and the '17 World Series with the Astros, tweeted: "How you going to pull your #1 starter in that situation? Smh."

Veteran reliever Jerry Blevins, who has 13 years of big league experience, also questioned the analytical side of the decision, tweeting: "Imagine you just lost the World Series on a decision to pull or leave-in your pitcher. You're sitting in front of a room full of reporters about to ask you why did it. 'Analytics say...' or 'I thought...' are your 2 options. Which is easier to defend?"

Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty simply let a GIF do the talking -- and Syndergaard replied with one of his own:

Brewers left-hander Brett Anderson also turned to a GIF to express his thoughts on the call to the bullpen:

Indians rookie right-hander Triston McKenzie kept things simple, posting a screenshot of Snell's line in the box score and questioning how his night ended when it did:

Some hitters from around the league also came to Snell's defense, with two-time All-Star and 10-year big league veteran Todd Frazier tweeting: "I really don’t understand the pitching change. Snell is dealing. Game 6. Let your top dog finish what he started. He was not happy nor should he be."

Hall of Famer and 1995 World Series champion Chipper Jones was also surprised by Cash's decision:

It wasn't just baseball players taking notice of Cash's monumental decision either. NFL superstar and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes questioned the decision, while also acknowledging that the move fell in line with the Rays' style.

Meanwhile, college basketball broadcasting legend -- and Rays superfan -- Dick Vitale unleashed a series of tweets akin to a high-energy Twitter rant. It all started with Vitale pleading for Snell to be given a longer leash than 73 pitches, though he continuously reiterated his appreciation for Cash.

Vitale continued from there, writing in a series of tweets: "Absolutely over managing! Ridiculous / no way @snellzilla4 should be out of this game. Dodgers must love this. We have given the Dodgers life! I really can’t believe @snellzilla4 is out of the game. 70 pitches & dominant taken out I can’t believe it especially with our bats. Look Cash has been super all yr but @snellzilla4 was in his CY YOUNG groove / the Dodgers bats were lost vs him / I am getting loads of texts & social media comments that they can’t believe Blake was taken out. LET THE PLAYERS WIN OR LOSE THE GAME!"

Despite Vitale's strong opinions, he still made it clear that Cash is his pick for the AL Manager of the Year Award:

Though Vitale acknowledged he's only a fan in this situation, he said the season-ending loss for the Rays gave him a feeling similar to the one he had as a head coach when his University of Detroit men's basketball team lost a five-point thriller against the University of Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen during the 1976-77 season.

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.