As an Orioles fan, I’ll be the first to tell you how much I can’t stand Jose Bautista. I think he’s one of the most arrogant pricks in the game. He’s one of those guys who acts like he’s above the game of baseball. He dishes his fair share of smack but he can’t take it himself.
Does some of my hatred toward Joey Bats come from the fact that he backs up his talk by being an absolute monster of a ballplayer?
Am I a bit salty that my O’s had him when he was a scrawny, no-good utility player and how he’s now jacking bombs for a division rival?
All that said, I have no problem with his ALDS bat flip. None. At all.
Much of the baseball world, however, seemed to think it was an awful display of sportsmanship and that Joey Bats should have been ashamed of himself for “showing up” the Rangers like that.
The only way he “showed up” the Rangers was by belting a 3-run missile over all their heads to all but certainly send packing home for the winter.
In and of itself, the bat flip was freaking epic. It was an incredible display of emotion after the biggest home run of his career and the biggest hit in Toronto Blue Jays history since Joe Carter’s walk-off dinger in the 1993 World Series. It was an absolute bomb that sent his team to the American League Championship Series.
Wouldn’t you be hyped, too?
Now, the baseball world has their panties in a bunch over Noah Syndergaard’s first pitch fastball to Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series.
For those who haven’t seen it, Thor’s first pitch of the game was some 98 MPH cheese that sent Escobar to the seat of his pants in the third base side batter’s box. It put the series-leading Royals on edge and set the tone for the rest of the game.
It’s like a football team sending an all-out blitz on the first play of the game, or a quarterback launching a deep ball 50 yards down the sideline right after the opening kickoff.
It’s like a basketball team pressing right out of the gate or a quick steal and emphatic dunk.
It’s like a lacrosse team… hitting a guy on the other team with his stick? Never mind. I don’t know what those frat boys do out there.
Syndergaard knew damn well that Alcides Escobar always swings at the first pitch, so naturally, he started him off with a pitch he wouldn’t be able to hit. There’s not one thing wrong with that.
And, since Syndergaard is a mf-ing boss, he stood his ground despite the backlash:
“I mean, I certainly wasn’t trying to hit the guy, that’s for sure. I just didn’t want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away.”
That’s not a threat, it’s a statement of confidence in himself and an understanding that the pitch he threw was not wrong or unprofessional. It was simply a statement pitch that he felt the need to make. He wasn’t throwing at Escobar’s head.
So let’s all stop getting so butthurt.
We saw it with the Bautista example I mentioned a minute ago. We see it now with Syndergaard. We’ve seen it countless other times.
Baseball is a game of raw emotion. If you get so offended over something that another team does, it’s probably just because you’re salty that it wasn’t your team.