There has been Deflategate, there has been Bountygate… so now, we have “Bat Flip Gate”.
For one, everyone does it. There are countless examples. It’s no big deal!! At all. As Tony Kornheiser off of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption said, “If you (Sam Dyson) don’t like it, make a better pitch.”
But the main point of this isn’t that everybody does it, but it’s that everybody does it for less. Far less! Jose Bautista just hit the biggest home run in Jays’ history next to only Joe Carter’s World Series winning homer in 1993.
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It was the ultimate cap to the craziest inning of baseball perhaps ever played (craziest I’ve ever seen, easily). After the Jays seemingly got the worst call against them – or at least the worst luck available – when Russell Martin hit Shin-Soo Choo on a standard throw back to the pitcher, allowing the newly-hated Rougned Odor to score the go-ahead run.
The macro-argument for Joey Bat’s case is his MLB career and especially his Jays tenure. The length of Bautista’s career in Toronto has been dutiful. He’s been here for eight years and he’s been an All-Star in six consecutive seasons. All he’s done is put up huge numbers. According to Baseball Reference, he’s hit 243 home runs and 632 RBIs as a Jay. If his team was even okay, he likely would clearly have been the MVP in past years (in 2011, he was closest). Leading the league in homers twice, Bautista has been a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Simply put, he’s killed it for the Jays.
Oct 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Texas Rangers in the 7th inning in game five of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
I’m also sure that Bautista has signed to be in Toronto on sweetheart deals for the Jays, giving the team room to sign other good players. Yet, he’s been such a good soldier, always putting up sparkling numbers even when the team has not. When he’s always produced, it was just last year when he sounded off about his frustration when the team simply “stood-pat” at the trade deadline when teams around them in the standings went out and made moves. This was only understandable, as he wants to win. That’s what an athlete should want!
So this year, when his team is finally all-in, I’m so perfectly sure that Bautista’s bat-toss to the sky is completely justified. Give the guy a break! Six years as a Blue Jay with futile teams when he has always produced. It all came to a culmination in that deciding game five at the plate in the later innings with a home run that no one has yet confirmed to have landed.
Some people complain that it was disrespectful, that he looked at the pitcher after hitting the bomb. But really, it was just a quick glance before emotion got the best of him and he threw the bat.
And the bat throw, well, some said that he threw the bat towards the Rangers’ dugout. Blasphemy. He had absolutely no idea where that bat was going. All that was certain was that it was high. With all that momentum and absolute chaos, to think Jose meant to throw his bat towards the Texas dugout is just preposterous. It wasn’t disrespectful — it was HONEST.
We always complain that athletes never show emotion, and now people are complaining that Bautista showed some? Come on, you can’t have it both ways. People also always want athletes to be more human. That game was the most emotional game I can remember… so Bautista showing emotion must be allowed.
The final argument I would like to make is that, Did you see or HEAR the crowd? The Skydome was a BONANZA! It was going nuts as a microcosm of a whole country. Clearly, the epicenter of the mayhem was the Rogers Centre. I’d like to see you “show some respect” in that moment. PUH-LEASE!
Clearly, to me, this had to be on the shortlist for best thing ever. The past generation of Blue Jays’ fans have Joe Carter’s jumping jacks up the first-base line. Well, for now, we have Jose’s emotional bat flip of the monumental home run to win the American League Division Series.
GIVE THE GUY A BREAK!! He just broke one for his team.
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