For a host of reasons, Minor League Baseball is a whole different animal than the highest level of the sport. The overarching focus is player development so that the best prospects on your team can go on to greener pastures, but on a day-to-day basis, the players and coaches are competitors at heart. There’s a tension there, just like the one between teams’ desire to cultivate loyal fanbases despite their players necessarily changing every year, or even more frequently — hence the constant quest for new, original promotions.
All the pushes and pulls of the minor leagues were on display Tuesday night when Tulsa Drillers manager Joe Mikulik, a man with a penchant for theatric displays of rage, treated the fans to yet another fit of performative anger after being ejected over a baserunning call. In addition to frequent usage of his preferred swear words (“horsesh*t” is, to be fair, really fun to say), Mikulik had a grand old time first sliding into second base, then stealing and punting it — an act which looked like it might really hurt.
Mikulik may have truly been that ticked off, but he also knows that such over-the-top performances spice up the entertainment product for the fans in attendance and draws a little more attention to his squad. I mean, here we are talking about the Tulsa Drillers, after all. You keep putting butts in seats, Joe.