The Midnight Snack -Bat Flippin’ Edition

So Flippin’ Good: I am a traditionalist in a lot of ways. Some might call me “square”. I like clean shaven dudes with short hair. I like pitchers batting, I like high socks. I don’t always want to know the advanced stats because I like to go with my gut. But brothers and sisters, I love me some bat flips

bat flip gifWhen Jose Bautista had the Bat Flip to End All Bat Flips last year, I thought that was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Zack Greinke’s bat flips are legendary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bat flip that I’ve been angry at, if I’m honest.

In the last 24 hours, we’ve heard about Bryce Harper thinking that baseball needs to have more Cam Newtons and less Cameron Fryes. On the polar opposite side we have Goose Gossage and his walrus ‘stache telling us that fun sucks, everyone’s a nerd, and that back in his day he had to climb the pitcher’s mound up both ways in the snow.

One thing that remains clear in all of this hullabaloo – bat flips are still a giant controversy. But why? Everyone does it. Even Mickey Mantle did it. If it’s good enough for Mickey, it should be good enough for everyone else. I know Brian McCann gets angry at them, but B-Mac does not speak for me. I guess, though, a bat flip is showing too much passion and emotion. What’s wrong with that?

Pitchers can show a lot of passion and emotion. I mean, not everyone can be a living, breathing block of ice like Tom Glavine, but I’m still not convinced that Glav is entirely human, either. Still, even ice water blooded cyborgs like Glav have shown emotion on the pitcher’s mound. You’re telling me that it’s okay for a pitcher to have flashes of fire, but it’s not okay for a hitter? That’s nuts.

To close, I offer this tweet from Wisconsin basketball legend and one of my favorites, Sam Dekker, who basically says what we’re all thinking.

Me too, Dek. Me too.

11 thoughts on “The Midnight Snack -Bat Flippin’ Edition

  1. Goose Gossage doesn’t like a lot of things from the sounds of things. I hear hates raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, and warm woolen mittens, and these are a few of my favorite things too, along with your snack.

    The thing is, we seem to like players who show emotion. When I was a kid, I played a lot of tennis. My favorite male tennis player was Becker. Why? Because he played with emotion and balls to the wall, and he wasn’t a complete dick like McEnroe. We want to know they are human, hey! Just like us. We can empathize. It lets us know they care, like we care. It’s not just a paycheck to them.

    I could watch that Bautista batflip gif all day. Nice snack.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And therein lies the conundrum: where do we draw the line between ‘showing emotion’ and ‘being a complete dick’? I don’t mind the odd bat flip, especially in an appropriate game situation, but there’s something about Jose B that I find unsettling. On the few occasions I’ve seen him play, he comes across as a barely-contained ball of rage just waiting for a lit match to appear. That playoff game last year with all the can throwing is an example of what happens when the lit match arrives…

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      • That is a great question, Viking.

        Yesterday, I commented that prior to that bat flip, I was no Bautista fan but at the moment he launched that bat, I loved him with every ounce of my body. The audacity, the raw emotion. I remember my words at the moment he did it: “Oh, shit!” There is no line. I’m willing to live with the nuance for the excitement it will bring the sport.

        I follow him on Twitter. He’s not a bad person. Thoughtful and intelligent, actually. A rare quality on Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Totally this.

          I don’t like Bautista in general…BUT….you can tell he REALLY cares…all that bitching about balls and strikes? That is because every at bat is really important to him AND he is right most of the time, he could call the game better than most umps (yes, not setting the bar too high). Isn’t one thing most stodgy fans say that they want players to care? They are the same people that hate JD Drew, or Rasmus, or Beltran or anyone that makes the game look easy or effortless because their effort doesn’t LOOK like effort….they want guys to LOOK like they are trying.

          Bautista WANTS to be up in huge situations like that playoff game. Don’t fans want that in a player? He welcomes the challenge, and when he rose to that challenge, the raw emotion resulted in an epic “fuck yeah!” bat flip. You can’t ask for guys to have that kind of desire and intensity and then get pissed when the emotion that underlies them comes out in some way. Well, you can, but that just makes you an ass.

          It is baseball. It is supposed to be fun. People have fun in different ways. If a guy flipping a bat reduces your level of fun, that says WAY more about you than it does about the bat flipper….mostly, it says that you want everyone to have fun like you have fun, which, again, is stupid and usually the attitude of unfun people.

          I still don’t like Bautista, but I do love his intensity, his desire, his emotion….if he was on my team, I’d totally love him, but he’s not…so I don’t. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s tough getting old, isn’t it, Goose?

    And some people seem to do it with a complete lack of class or grace.

    Personally, I do lean to liking the more “professional” approach in day-to-day play. But I’m also a big fan of Bryce Harper. There is a place in the game for all the emotion of the big moments. And face it. Those guys love the game or they wouldn’t have gone through all the misery it takes to get to the pros. Why can’t they enjoy it just a bit?

    I felt every bit of it when Rice did the dogpile to celebrate their National Championship in 2003. And I will again when the Astros finally reel in that World Series win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me, too, Stex. Maybe not Harper, but I am a big fan of Joc Pederson, who is a little on the brash side. I think there has to be young and hungry dudes in sports. It flavors the stew.

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      • George Springer will emerge as another one, mark my words. I think Carlos Correa is a little too correct and playing the game (amazing understanding of the politics for a 21 year old). Springer is just into playing the game and having fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. imma gonna cut and paste what I have said esewhere.This was a magic moment. the hour long 7th inning was crazy, capped off by this, but…but, but, but this flip was poorly executed.

    first, if you are going to take that long to flip, be on the move.

    second, he moves his head. its in three different spots before the flip, ball-pitcher-field then flip it makes the flip look like something thought about, and deliberated not spontanious

    third, he uses too much arm. good bat flips are wrist.

    fourth, he throws the bat towards the wrong dugout, that is more of an aggressive move towards the rangers, who should be an afterthought (its not like it was darin o’day he hit the homer off)

    Like

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