The Teammate Test: Westbrook Or Pedroia?

Laser show

A lot has been said about Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s press conference with teammate Steven Adams over this past weekend, of course, and you were defending one of three sides on Monday morning, Westbrook, Adams or the columnist. A lot was also made out of the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles scuffle from over the weekend, leaving us to decide whether or not veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia handled the situation correctly after his teammate Matt Barnes decided to throw at Manny Machado in retaliation. Two different sports, one common denominator, teammates.

Here’s how the two incidents played out.

Everyone should have an opinion on the topic, we’ve all had to work with others at one point or another, whether you’ve been the one defending a teammate/coworker/friend/sibling/etc., the one being defended, the one being thrown under the bus or the one doing the throwing. Let’s dissect each situation and then decide what type of teammate you are at the end.

Let’s start with Westbrook. The question asked by the columnist was directed at Steven Adams and was most definitely fair (Columnist: +1). Westbrook interrupted the question to defend Adams and the rest of his teammates (Westbrook: +10) ten points for following rule No.1 Sec. 6.09 of the teammate rulebook. Some say Westbrook never let his teammate talk and made sure they mentioned Adams by age (23) before saying he can speak for himself, that’s true, except that same 23-year-old Adams never chose to step up and do so at any point (Adams: -1). The columnist did stand up to Westbrook by responding that he asked Steven the question (Columnist: +1). Westbrook proceeded to hit the reporter with “next question” a few times which is the most elementary way out of a question for any athlete (Westbrook: -1). The columnist genuinely sounded mad towards the end of the clip and didn’t want to give up the microphone until Adams answered his question but Adams never did give in (Columnist: -5; Adams +1). The columnist should’ve been ecstatic about the answer Westbrook gave him, which would’ve been any other reporter’s dream, instead of becoming a part of the story for getting worked up about a quote from Adams that would’ve never seen the light of day. Ultimately, Adams stayed quiet at the right time, respecting Westbrook for having his back in the first place.

FINAL: Westbrook (+9), Adams (+1), columnist (-3)

The Pedroia saga started on Friday night after Machado’s late slide put him on the shelf for the time being. Pedroia never seemed to take exception to Machado’s slide after the game, mentioning that he’s not the “baseball police” and that he didn’t have an issue with anything (Pedroia: +8). The old school approach by Pedroia was well represented after he showed no regard for the fairly new rule on slides at second base. On Sunday, the pitch was thrown by Barnes (+10) in retaliation for the slide except it was near the head of Machado (-9). Barnes had the right idea in protecting his teammate but throwing above the shoulders should be off-limits. This is where the situation gets dicey. Pedroia never publicly acknowledged Barnes for trying to back him in the moment or afterward, even though it wasn’t done correctly by his standards, he’s seen in the clip telling Machado that it wasn’t him and goes out of his way to take the others team side immediately (-5). This is rule No.6 Sec. 0.9 in the DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE section of the teammate rulebook. We don’t know what went on behind closed doors but Pedroia was probably too vocal about his teammates not handling the situation the way he would’ve done it. By the way, who made Pedroia the chief of the baseball police? Barnes never touched on Pedroia’s comments (+2) and denied any notion that he purposely threw the pitch at Machado after the game(+1). The young pitcher kept the situation in-house and bought into the must lie situation about the intent of the pitch.

FINAL: Barnes (+4), Pedroia (+3)

Now, it’s time to pick your poison. What type of teammate are you?

Clearly from the point system used above I see myself as a ton Westbrook, of course, speaking in terms of a teammate and not at all in terms of athleticism, and I’d say I’m more Barnes than Pedroia because I’d never support an opponent over my own.