Blue Jays: Jose Bautista took the heat for the bat flips of today

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14: Jose Bautista
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14: Jose Bautista /

The bat flip is becoming fairly common in baseball these days, and while Jose Bautiista didn’t start it with the Blue Jays, he should get some credit for the surge these days.

One of the most iconic moments in Blue Jays’ history was just five years ago, when Jose Bautista infamously flipped his bat against the Texas Rangers in the 2015 ALDS. It was a made-for-TV moment, but it also set baseball fans off on a furious debate.

In a lot of ways I love the traditions in baseball, and it’s one of the many reasons I’m passionate about the game. That said, there are plenty of baseball purists who don’t like the slightest change, whether it’s regarding something from the actual rulebook, or worse, when it’s from the pages of the “unwritten” rules. It was the latter point that had baseball fans arguing over Bautista’s celebrations in 2015, and dispute continues in plenty of circles today.

That said, it would appear that “bat flipping” is becoming a lot more acceptable these days, at least based on what we’ve seen from this year’s playoffs.

More from Jays Journal

Last night it was Cody Bellinger, who hit a go-ahead bomb against Atlanta that proved to be the difference in their tight seven game series. His celebration wasn’t so much about the bat flip as it was the time took to admire hit blast, but the “old school” types were likely screaming at their televisions, demanding someone get plunked because of the disrespect shown.

Fernando Tatis Jr. made headlines with his huge playoff home run for the Padres, and his bat flip was right up there or even more extreme than Bautista’s. We saw the same type of thing from Ji-Man Choi of the Tampa Bay Rays during this year’s playoffs as well, and suddenly the act is starting to become less “criminal” in the eyes of a lot of baseball fans.

As I’ve already mentioned, I’m all for a lot of baseball’s traditions, and there are even some of those aforementioned unwritten rules that I don’t mind. As for seeing players across the game starting to celebrate more, I’m all for it. That doesn’t mean that I’m endorsing a player directly disrespecting an opposing pitcher, but I don’t have a problem with anyone celebrating a big moment, and who doesn’t love an exclamation point after a big moment, provided of course that it’s coming from a player on the team you root for.

Next. Waiting one more year to strike in free agency. dark

Bautista may not have ended his MLB career on the terms he was hoping for, but there’s no doubt that he left a lasting impact on the Blue Jays and their fanbase that won’t be forgotten. And based on the number of bat flips were seeing in baseball these days, he may have left a subtle impact on the game in other ways too.