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José Bautista's bat flip

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

José Bautista's bat flip was a baseball play that occurred in Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series, on October 14, 2015, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. During the seventh inning, Toronto Blue Jays right fielder José Bautista executed what Andrew Keh of The New York Times described as possibly "the most ostentatious bat flip in MLB history" after hitting a go-ahead, three-run home run off Texas Rangers relief pitcher Sam Dyson. A vital symbol of Toronto's first postseason appearance since 1993,[1] the bat flip was voted Esurance's MLB Award for Best Play on Offense for 2015.[2] In the five games of the ALDS, Bautista batted .273 with two home runs and five RBI.


Regular season

Bautista finished the 2015 regular season with a .250 batting average, 40 home runs, and 114 RBI. He also walked more than he struck out for the second consecutive year, totaling 110 walks to 106 strikeouts. For the season, he had the lowest line drive percentage of all major league hitters (13.9%).[3]


On October 8, 2015, with just over 1,400 career games played, Bautista made his postseason debut against the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series (ALDS). As the higher seed, the Blue Jays held home-field advantage over the Rangers, and the first two games were played in Toronto. Jays' ace David Price took on Yovani Gallardo in the first game. Price yielded five runs to the Rangers over seven innings pitched. Gallardo was only able to complete five innings, but held Toronto to two runs and the Texas bullpen was able to hold the lead from that point, winning 5–3.[4] In the second game of the series, Rangers ace Cole Hamels squared off against Marcus Stroman, and both starters went seven innings. Stroman limited the Texas offence to three runs, while Hamels allowed four runs, through only two were earned. Brett Cecil surrendered the tying run in the eighth inning, and the game went tied 4–4 into the 14th. Texas took the lead in the top half, scoring two runs off LaTroy Hawkins. Toronto was unable to answer in their half of the inning, and dropped the second game of the series, 6–4.[5]

The series then moved to Texas, where Marco Estrada got the start for the Blue Jays, opposing Martín Pérez. Estrada held the opposition to one run over 613 innings, while the Blue Jays were able to score four off of Pérez through his five innings. The Blue Jays were able to add another run and avoid elimination for the first time in franchise history, winning 5–1.[6] In the fourth game, R. A. Dickey became the oldest starting pitcher to make his postseason debut in MLB history, at almost 41 years of age. Derek Holland started for the Rangers, but gave up home runs to Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello, and Kevin Pillar and exited after two innings, down 6–0. Dickey was pulled after 423, and replaced by David Price, who pitched three innings out of the bullpen. The Blue Jays took game 4, 8–4, and forced the series to game 5 back in Toronto.[7]

As Price pitched in the fourth game, the start in Game 5 went to Marcus Stroman, who opposed Cole Hamels for the second time in the ALDS. Texas got out to a 1–0 lead quickly, scoring in the first inning. In the third inning, Shin-Soo Choo hit a solo home run, giving Texas a two-run lead. The Jays responded in the bottom of the third, with José Bautista doubling in Ben Revere. In the sixth inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit a home run to tie the game at 2–2.

The setup

Prior to Bautista's bat flip, Jays players and fans had been incensed by an overturned call that favored the Rangers. At the top of the seventh inning, with Rougned Odor on third and two outs, Russell Martin was in the process of throwing the ball back to the mound after Aaron Sanchez delivered a pitch, but the ball hit Shin-Soo Choo's bat and bounced toward third base. Odor observed this and ran to home to score the go-ahead run, though the play was initially ruled a dead ball by home-plate umpire Dale Scott and the run was voided. Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out to argue and after a discussion, the umpires awarded the run to Texas, citing rule 6.03a – that Choo was not intentionally interfering with the throw back to the pitcher. Since Choo was in the batter's box, interference could not be called and the play was ruled a live ball. The game was delayed 18-minutes while angry home fans tossed beer cans and garbage on the field. During this time, a video review from the umpires was on confirming with a rules check, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced he was playing the game under protest.

The turning point in the game came during the bottom of the seventh inning, when the Rangers made three consecutive errors; a fielding error by Elvis Andrus, a throwing error by first baseman Mitch Moreland (that was thrown at Andrus), and a missed catch error, also by Andrus, loaded the bases with nobody out. Ben Revere proceeded to hit into a fielder's choice to first, with Moreland throwing to home, where pinch runner Dalton Pompey slid into the catcher Chris Gimenez to prevent the chance of a double play; after a Texas review, the play stood, and no interference was called. At that point the Rangers' sinker-baller Sam Dyson relieved Cole Hamels.

The play

The next batter, José Bautista, hit a three-run home run off Dyson to give the Blue Jays a 6–3 lead. He flipped his bat before running the bases, an action widely applauded by Blue Jays fans and several media outlets but considered unsportsmanlike by some observers.[8] The benches cleared afterward, when Edwin Encarnación threw up his hands to the fans in an attempt to discourage any more garbage being thrown on the field but Dyson interpreted that as Encarnación showboating. At the end of the inning, Dyson and Troy Tulowitzki got into an argument after Dyson touched Tulowitzki on the buttocks when the former was walking back to his dugout, and the benches cleared once again. There were no ejections or punches thrown in either bench-clearing incident.

Roberto Osuna came on to close the game with a five-out save, becoming the second-youngest pitcher in MLB history to record a postseason save by sealing the 6–3 victory.[9]

The calls

Game 5 was nationally televised on FS1 with Kenny Albert, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci on the call. In the top of the 7th inning, Albert helped explain the rule regarding the errant throw by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, which resulted in Texas scoring the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the inning, he called José Bautista's go-ahead home run.[10]

The one-one from Dyson, Bautista with a drive, deep left field, no doubt about it!

— Kenny Albert calling[11] José Bautista's home run.

On radio, the game was nationally broadcast on ESPN Radio with Dan Schulman on the call alongside Rick Sutcliffe.

The one-one, Bautista...drives it...DEEP LEFT-FIELD...GONE!

— Dan Schulman[12] on the call for ESPN Radio.

Locally in Toronto, the game was broadcast on Sportsnet 590 the FAN, the flagship radio station of the Blue Jays Radio Network.

Fly ball, deep left field. Yes sir, there she goes!

— Jerry Howarth's description[13] of Bautista's home run.


The Bautista bat flip became an internet meme.[14] Fans posted numerous responses to the event on Twitter, and shared videos on Vine and other social media websites and mobile apps. It was etched onto jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween,[15] printed on T-shirts and Christmas sweaters,[16][17] and was also the subject of a thigh tattoo for an Oshawa, Ontario man.[18][19] It was also commemorated on a Topps 2016 Series 1 baseball card.[20] A corn maze in the Canadian province of New Brunswick was designed with the likeness of the Bautista bat flip.[21] In 2019, the Twitter account MLB GIFS posted a gif of the bat flip after the Toronto Raptors won the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to their first NBA Finals in franchise history.[22]

Bautista's bat flip is added to NHL 17, which is an official National Hockey League simulation video game, as a personal goal celebration, albeit with an ice hockey stick.[23]

The Kansas City Royals meanwhile, would go on to defeat the Blue Jays in the ALCS, then win the 2015 World Series over the National League champion New York Mets, the Royals first World Series title since 1985.


Bautista wrote an article about the bat flip published in November 2015 in The Players' Tribune.[24] He said he "didn’t plan it. It just happened", and that he was "caught up in the emotion of the moment" when he flipped the bat.[24] Bautista was criticized for the bat flip, which he attributed to a failure to understand differences in cultural backgrounds of players.[14]

Members of the Rangers objected to the bat flip, with Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland stating he did not object to a home run celebration, "but the way he did it".[25] After the home run, Dyson approached Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, the next batter in the batting order, and "told him that Jose needs to calm that down, respect the game more".[26][27] During the post-game press conference, Rangers manager Jeff Banister stated that "we respect everybody", which the media interpreted as a strong suggestion of disapproval of Bautista's actions.[26]

Bautista's bat flip may have been the impetus of the Jays–Rangers brawl on May 15, 2016 in the Rangers' home stadium of Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, in which Rangers relief pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch, Bautista made an illegal slide to second base, and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face, thereby igniting the brawl.[28] Bautista was suspended for one game for the incident, while Odor was suspended for eight.[29] The Jays and Rangers met in the 2016 American League Division Series playoffs, which was notable for Bautista slamming his bat down to celebrate a home run in Game One, and the series was a 3-0 sweep by the Jays.

On May 17, 2017, in the Atlanta Braves' home stadium of SunTrust Park in Cobb County, Georgia, Bautista did a bat flip on a home run in a five-run game that led to benches clearing. One day later, Braves starting pitcher Julio Teherán intentionally hit Bautista in the left thigh with a fastball, apparently as revenge. The next three batters had consecutive hits, allowing Bautista and a few other runners to score.[30]

See also


  1. ^ Arthur, Bruce (January 12, 2016). "Alex Anthopoulos has moved on, and so should we". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  2. ^ "Esurance awards: Best play, offense". 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Batters » Batted Ball Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  4. ^ "Blue Jays lose Game 1 of ALDS to Texas Rangers". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Brendan (October 9, 2015). "Blue Jays fall in extra innings to Rangers in Game 2 of ALDS". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Davidson, Neil (October 11, 2015). "Blue Jays defeat Rangers in Game 3 of ALDS". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Fehr, Israel (October 12, 2015). "ALDS Game 4: Blue Jays big bats show up, beat Rangers 8-4 to force Game 5". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  8. ^ McHenry, Britt (October 20, 2015). "Bautista's bat flip made Joey Bats a polarizing name". Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  9. ^ Chisholm, Gregor; Sullivan, T.R. (October 14, 2015). "Touch 'em all, Jose: Jays advance to ALCS". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  10. ^ MLB (14 October 2015). "Jose Bautista hammers go-ahead three-run shot in ALDS Game 5, delivers epic bat flip". Retrieved 1 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Milani, Marco (October 14, 2020). "This day in sports history: The bat flip heard around Canada and the world". The Skyline View.
  12. ^ Cafardo, Ben (October 15, 2015). "(Shul)Man of THE moment". ESPN Front Row.
  13. ^ Matheson, Keegan (June 2, 2020). "Howarth's best Toronto call: The one he gave up". MLB.
  14. ^ a b "Jose Bautista says bat flip flap down to 'gap' between Dominican and North American players". CBC News. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 16, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  15. ^ Clair, Michael (October 18, 2015). "Jose Bautista's bat flip is now Halloween-ready as a jack-o'-lantern". Cut4 (Major League Baseball). Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "Scare Rangers fans at Halloween with new Jose Bautista bat flip T-shirt". The Dallas Morning News. October 15, 2015. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Singh, David (25 November 2015). "Joey to the World: Bautista's bat-flip gets Christmas sweater". Sportsnet. Archived from the original on February 29, 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  18. ^ Kestler-D’Amours, Jillian (October 16, 2015). "Toronto tattoo artist immortalizes Jose Bautista bat flip". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  19. ^ Szekely, Reka (October 23, 2015). "Oshawa man has no regrets about Jose Bautista bat flip tattoo". Oshawa This Week. Metroland Media Group. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  20. ^ "Jose Bautista's bat flip commemorated on Topps baseball card". CBC News. 3 February 2016. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  21. ^ Monagan, Matt (August 31, 2016). "The Joey Bats Bat Flip has now been memorialized in a Canadian cornfield". MLB. Archived from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Newport, Kyle (July 29, 2016). "Jose Bautista's Legendary Bat Flip Added to 'NHL 17' as Goal Celebration". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Bautista, José (November 9, 2015). "Are you flipping kidding me?". The Players' Tribune staff. The Players' Tribune. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  25. ^ "Derek Holland not a fan of Jose Bautista on the field, and 'personally, I don't like him, either". The Dallas Morning News. October 20, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  26. ^ a b Fraley, Gerry (October 14, 2015). "Fraley: Jose Bautista becomes Public Enemy No. 1 after Rangers' intense ALDS vs. Toronto". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  27. ^ Doug Glanville (May 18, 2016). "After Rougned Odor Punches Jose Bautista During a Slide, Doug Glanville Argues It's Time for Baseball to Confront Its Unwritten Rules". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  28. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (May 15, 2016). "Tension boils over in Blue Jays-Rangers game". MLB. Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  29. ^ Hagen, Paul (May 18, 2016). "Odor, Bautista among 14 disciplined for brawl". Archived from the original on May 21, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  30. ^ "Stroman, Blue Jays slug way to win in Atlanta". Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 November 2021, at 19:51
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