Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista’s bat flip a defining moment

Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

With Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS being re-aired, Jose Bautist’s bat flip will always be remembered as a moment that shook the Toronto Blue Jays and baseball forever.

When you look back on the past few years there are some moments that stand out for sports fans and especially those who support the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs.

We looked back recently at the magnitude of Kawhi Leonard‘s buzzer-beater and the Raptors finally bringing the NBA championship to Canada. The Leafs might not have had the success on the ice to talk about but  Auston Matthews’ four-goal game and signing John Tavares were seen as significant NHL moments as well.

However, if you ask Blue Jays fans, you can say that three moments in franchise history stand above them. We have already re-lived the very first World Series win in1992, Joe Carter‘s iconic home run in 1993 and on Friday night, we get a chance to get a new perspective on a moment that shook baseball in 2015.

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Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS will likely be remembered for a long time because of one swing of the bat. It’s interesting that Jose Bautista‘s infamous bat flip has had such a prolific impact well after it happened. ‘

Ironically, it wasn’t even a walk-off moment or a hit that clinched a World Series win. The reason is because people still discuss the reaction from that moment, a divide that continues to exist to this day about whether players should or shouldn’t show their emotion especially in big moments.

As Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith notes, there was immediate denouncing of Bautista’s iconic bat flip because people – mostly players on the Texas Rangers – believed it “violated baseball’s unwritten rule.” It has become a fight between people who believe in the “old-school” aspect of baseball and those who want the game to embrace more personality in the moment.

What Bautista did with that bat flip is expose an old ideology that has harmed baseball for a while.  This was made apparent with some of the comments made after the game.

"“You want to be able to play the game the right way,” Cole Hamels told reporters about Bautista’s celebration. “You’ve got a lot of kids who are watching. You just want to be a ballplayer, and I think there’s a certain amount of respect that you’ve got to have.”"

This type of attitude and approach is exactly the opposite we were told as children. If you played a sport at a young age, you were told to have fun because that was supposed to be the most enjoyable part about playing, now it has come to the point where some believe that teaching kids how to win is more important.

At 9:00 p.m. ET, Sportsnet will host a live Watch Party with Bautista joining as a guest and you can bet this topic will be brought up again. They will also have Harold Reynolds, Ryan Goins, Dale Scott and Dan Shulman on the broadcast as well giving their perspective of certain moments from that memorable game.

Who can forget that seventh inning which was pretty much a game within a game. Take that inning plus the bat flip and it’s no secret why this game is one of the most talked-about moments over the past few years.

Fellow contributor Trevor Popoff had this game ranked as the best one over the past five seasons and it’s honestly hard to disagree with that. You can bet this one will live on just like the World Series wins in 1992 and 1993 and honestly, this team should have won in 2015 and that’s really the shame in all of this.

You can argue that had the Toronto Blue Jays went all the way it would have had the same reaction to the Raptors winning last year and Bautista’s bat flip would have been the equivalent to Leonard’s buzzer-beater in Game 7 against Philadelphia.

If you want to cheat a bit before the game tonight and re-watch the inning and the home run, we won’t blame you.

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What feelings does that home run bring back when you watch it again? What do you think about the aftershock from the comments about Bautista’s bat flip? Let us know in the comments below.