The ejection of Miguel Cabrera in today's Tigers game, which most people (Tigers fans at least) thought was a result of the ump being way too sensitive, has me thinking about how different sports manage sportsmanship.
In many sports, there are penalties that referees can call when they think players are whining or being overly demonstrative to the detriment of the game. Football refs throw a flag for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, NBA refs call a technical and the other team shoots free throws, soccer refs can hand out a yellow card.
In baseball, there aren't really penalties. The ump's only power move is to eject someone.
And then there's hockey, which I don't watch a ton of, but my impression is that the notion of a ref calling a penalty on a player for unsportsmanship is just silly.
So my question for you all is, which sport do you think handles sportsmanship the best? Would you like any sports to change their rules?
My opinion: I hate when player antics that have nothing to do with gameplay affect the outcomes of matches. There is nothing more frustrating than having a big 3rd down stop nullified by an excessive celebration penalty, or a tech called on a player for arguing a call late in a close game. At the same time, it's also annoying to watch players whining, and I think there should be something to keep players somewhat in line.
With that said, I think hockey does it the best, because the culture of hockey players sort out most annoying players. You don't want to get labeled as a whiny POS because players will hunt you down during games. In this way, whining is limited and gameplay is unaffected. I'd love NBA and especialy soccer to develop this mentality, but I think in the meantime increasing fines is the way to start.