Jose Bautista has cemented himself as one of the greatest Toronto Blue Jays players to ever grace the Rogers Centre. His commitment to not only the Blue Jays organization but the country as a whole has inspired me to pen a thank you letter to the man affectionately known as “Joey Bats”.
Regardless of your personal feelings toward the slugger, Jose Bautista has absolutely put the Blue Jays on the map with his swagger, clutch hitting and epic bat flips. However, aside from that, he has been a great ambassador off the field often volunteering his time to numerous causes around the city.
This offseason may not have gone as planned fiscally for Bautista but his commitment and passion for returning to Toronto never waivered throughout it all. Bautista is back where he belongs in Toronto poised to antagonize opposition pitchers yet again.
I will be the first to admit there are times when Bautista needs to put a cork in it toward umpires or rookie pitchers in the postseason but the good absolutely outweighs the bad.
Bautista resurrected his career north of the border and has slammed 265 home runs since becoming a Blue Jay including a 54 homer campaign in 2010.
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The slugger has given this team an identity for the past nine years whether it was educating the Baltimore Orioles relief corps why you don’t throw at him or the bat flip heard around the world. Bautista thrives for the pressure-packed situations and if you dare to rattle his chain chances are he is going to deposit your offering some 400 feet away.
He is exactly the player you want battling between the lines with you and the exact player teams love to hate, case in point the Texas Rangers. This offseason Orioles GM Dan Duquette informed the media he was not interested in signing the free agent slugger because the fans hated him. Well done Jose, the division rival fans should not feel warm and fuzzy toward the opposition.
These are the types of players we need to embrace, how often do we hear about this player and that player not wanting to play in Canada. Bautista left more money on the table from other teams to return to Toronto where he will hopefully remain for the next three seasons.
Mark my words, he is going to rake this year and look like the Joey Bats of old in 2017. Then hopefully, both sides agree on his mutual option and Bautista ends his career in the only place that makes sense……..Toronto.
Thank you for being you, Jose. This Canadian is proud to have you.