You had to have seen it by now. That arrogant, smug and oh-so-unbaseball-like bat flip of Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista. It wasn’t even a “regular” bat flip. It had that certain extra irritating flick to it.
Please, don’t make me watch it again – but here it is :
But its the post season! – some are saying. Emotions are running high! It was an epic moment in a critical game! He’s a guy who plays with a lot of passion! You gotta love that! I don’t love that. In fact, I hate it. One of the things I love most about baseball is the controlled emotion. How a player who just hit a massive BOMB at the most critical moment in a game can calmly trot around the bases head down while the crowd goes wild, as if he does it every day. How he may point up to the sky to acknowledge a higher power (or like Oriole Adam Jones, tap his shoulder to acknowledge his grandmother) at that moment when his foot touches home plate. How he’ll slip into the dugout to greet the high-fives or will quickly go down into the tunnel out of sight. How the television camera lenses will zero-in clearly on his serene face searching for his reaction. Then you’ll see only that tiny glow of a silent satisfaction. A deeply personal validation for all of the unseen toil and hours and years that lead to that moment. I’ll take seeing that over a bat flip and a pimped home run any day.
If you didn’t appreciate Bautista’s antics – check out this one from 1994 by Rich Aude, a former first baseman for the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. I hope his mother wasn’t watching.