Friday, May 19, 2017

Bat Flip Anger... Again.

You want to make a case for Jose Bautista being the hated figure in Major League Baseball, here you go. Two years ago, he did a bat flip after hitting a game winning and clinching home run in the playoffs for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Texas Rangers. Last year, bad blood amounted to him getting punched by Rangers player Rougned Odor in a full scale brawl in Texas. A few nights ago, it was him being a complete moron with no reason to flip his bat.

The Blue Jays faced the Atlanta Braves at the new stadium for the Braves. Toronto was down by five runs heading into the eighth inning. Reliever Eric O'Flaherty threw a pitch and it was hit for a home run. Bautista flipped his bat, went around the bases and jawed at catcher Kurt Suzuki. It led to both benches clearing, and that was it. No punches, not tackling, nothing. When talked after the game, Bautista said about showing emotion. O'Flaherty said about last year's incident between Toronto and Texas in a laughing manner.

I don't agree with either bat flip, but the one in the playoffs made a little sense even if I disagree with it. Bautista gave the Blue Jays the ultimate game clincher to send them into the Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals. It was the team's first playoff series since the 1993 World Series, and to be able to give fans a huge win will stand in Toronto baseball history. Doing it in May where you're down a bit is just plain stupid. It's not something to even be proud of. He should know that and should be ashamed.

This isn't a guy that has been in the league for a few years. Bautista has been in baseball since 2004, and almost a decade with the Blue Jays since late in the 2008 season. When it comes to players, one would hope that they become a respectable player and that they continue to show they are a good act to the sport. Whatever Bautista did before that playoff bat flip doesn't mean much. While the hatred isn't as bad as Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds, (though different reasons) it doesn't help late in the guy's career. His stat line this year is pretty bad. He's just above .200 for an average with six home runs and 19 runs batted in. He has struck out 49 times so far.

Toronto is going to have to make big choices before the trade deadline. I could honestly see Bautista going somewhere, as will a few other players. This was a team that had high expectations and is in last place in the AL East. With how strong the Orioles and Yankees have been to begin 2017, it might not mean much for this year, but maybe the next few years. They could rebuild. Whoever gets Bautista will have to deal with how he acts. For how long who knows. His career is just about over.

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