Bat flip leads to dust-up between Jays, Braves


Mike Silvestre, Sports Editor

Wednesday night brought back memories of a certain memorable moment on Oct. 14, 2015.  Jose Bautista again launched a no-doubt home run to left field in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves and flipped his bat.  However, in contrast to the event in 2015, the home run only brought the Blue Jays to within four instead of giving them the lead like in 2015.

There is a time and a place to rightfully flip the bat.  There is nothing wrong with flipping the bat if a player just launched a home run that ties the game or gives the team the lead, but flipping it while down by five? C’mon, that’s not right.

Is it all right for Bryce Harper to bat flip after homering to give the Nationals the lead in the ninth inning? Yes.  Is it OK for Carlos Gomez to bat flip after hitting a homer to complete the cycle? Yes.

Emotion in baseball is good because it draws fans to see the personalities of the players.  However, there are specific situations where emotion is required and situations where it should be left out.

The bat flip with the team down by more than one run emphasizes the value of the performance of the individual rather t+-han the performance of the team.  With the bat flip, Bautista was indirectly expressing that he cares about his personal performance more than if the Blue Jays win or lose.

Bautista and Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki exchanged words at home plate after Bautista ran the bases and the benches cleared.  This shows the primary problem with baseball.  If players are going to showboat while their team remains down by a number of runs, then there will be on-field altercations that follow.

The Blue Jays have been a team that wears their emotions on their sleeves, with emotional players such as Bautista, pitcher Marcus Stroman, outfielder Kevin Pillar, and third baseman Josh Donaldson.

The Blue Jays have consistently been involved in “mix-ups” with other teams due to their inability to control their emotions.  The Jays were involved with the Rangers dating back to the 2015 playoffs, which carried on into when Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face in May 2016.

Baseball has been attempting to monitor situations where pitchers throw at certain hitters.  Altercations occurred between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox earlier in the season where both teams responded with “rightful retribution.”  Baseball is a game that polices itself, which results in retribution and revenge.

It will be interesting to see what happens Thursday evening as the Braves and Blue Jays wrap up their four-game home and home series.  If trends continue, expect the Braves to take a shot at Bautista at some point in the game.