Don't Get Mad At Bat Flips, Get Mad At Your Pitcher

Don't Get Mad At Bat Flips, Get Mad At Your Pitcher

by Tim Reilly April 18, 2019 0 Comments

The White Sox Tim Anderson started up an old school baseball controversy after flipping his bat in celebration of a home run Wednesday against the Royals. That’s right, we’re talking about the unwritten rules of baseball.

Anderson, a 25-year-old rising star, takes a new school approach to the game. You know, the kind that actually shows emotion and has fun out there on the field. The Royals did not take kindly to Anderson’s actions and retaliated his next time up at bat.

The debate on what’s disrespectful to the game is older than the baseball lifers that keep it going. It’s 2019, get over yourselves. Baseball is a game and games are supposed to be fun. This isn’t some stuffy office job. The reason we all grew up wanting to be ball players is to have a career that doesn’t take life too seriously. 

I find myself in the middle of new school and old school. I’m a traditionalist at heart. I’d keep the DH out of the NL forever. When it comes to something like a bat flip? Loosen up. I’ll be the first to admit that I get pissed off when an opposing player does it to the Mets. I don’t hate the guy for it. I hate that my guys weren’t good enough on the mound to prevent that long ball from happening.

When it does happen to the Mets, I prefer pitchers to take the Noah Syndergaard approach from the 2015 World Series. Make them feel uncomfortable at the plate and strike their ass out the next time up. That’s how these things should be handled. There’s no better retaliation than sending a cocky hitter back to the dugout in silence. If they seem too comfortable at the plate, make them shuffle their feet. I’ve got no problem with that. If the batter does, he has his right to go see the pitcher 60’ 6” away. 

Anderson had an inkling deep down as to what was coming his way. He handled it like a pro and walked down to first base. He might’ve had some assistance, but he never escalated the situation. Did it need to come to that? Probably not. Did Anderson need to be tossed? DEFINITELY not. That’s where baseball lost me yesterday. There were a million different ways to handle the situation and that might’ve been the worst.

The other side of this dilemma is that MLB wants more bat flips. Look at their social media accounts. They WANT to flaunt guys like Anderson having fun. It's what the younger demographic wants and the younger demographic is what baseball needs so badly. Someone just needs to relay this message to the umpires. Guys like Anderson need to be kept on the field to provide the league with more footage like this. It goes viral and does more to help grow the game than any old school umpire ever could over the course of a 40-year career. 

Let’s be honest, fans only hate bat flips when the opposing team does them. No Mets fan can seriously say they hated it when Cespedes tossed his bat to the moon after hitting a monster home run in the ’15 NLDS. You can’t have it both ways. You’re allowed to go nuts when your guy does it and get angry when your team allows one up to an opposing player too. That’s OK. Just don’t question the opposing player’s morals, question your team’s pitching.

 

Now sit back and watch a highlight reel of baseball’s best bat flips. If this makes you angry then go watch Part 1 of Ken Burn’s “Baseball” docuseries to relive the dead-ball era.




Tim Reilly
Tim Reilly

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T7L contributing blogger - Follow Tim on Twitter




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