When Jose Bautista blasted a three-run home run in last year's playoffs, he flipped his bat in pure ecstasy of the thrilling moment.
Although it has been five months since the incident, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger continues to get ripped over the gesture by old-school baseball players.
"Bautista is a f****** disgrace to the game," Hall of Fame pitcher Goose Gossage told ESPN nearly two weeks ago. "He's embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes same thing."
That being said, one future Hall of Famer is tired of baseball being stuck in the old age and not changing with the times.
Entering his 20th and final year in Major League Baseball, David Ortiz has heard enough. The Boston Red Sox slugger has fighting words for those still criticizing hitters for their home run celebrations in 2016.
“Whenever somebody criticizes a power hitter for what we do after we hit a home run, I consider that person someone who is not able to hit a homer ever in his life,” Ortiz told the Boston Globe. “Look at who criticizes the power hitters in the game and what we do. It’s either a pitcher or somebody that never played the game. Think about it. You don’t know that feeling. You don’t know what it takes to hit a homer off a guy who throws 95 miles per hour. You don’t know anything about it.
"And if you don’t know anything about it, [shut up]. [Shut up]. Seriously," he continued. "If you don’t know anything about it, [shut up], because that is another level.”
Big Papi wasn't done yet.
“Of course as a pitcher you’re not going to like it if I take you deep, but after I do it, suck it up, man," he continued. "Take it like a man. I don’t mind anybody doing anything when you strike me out or get myself out. You’re never going to see me criticizing anybody, because you know what? Whatever you do out there, you just motivate me. You just motivate me. If I take you deep and I pimp the [expletive] out of it, that should be motivation for you to try to get me out in my next at-bat, instead of just talking [expletive]. That’s the way I see it."
He added: “This game is competition. This ain’t no baby-sitting. There ain’t no crying. When somebody strikes me out, I’m not up there crying, like, ‘Boo-hoo... this guy’ No, no, no. There’s none of that. There’s no babysitting in baseball. There’s no babysitting. If you’re going to take it like a baby, I’m going to take [you] deep again. How about that? Take it like a man and make better, quality pitches the next time I face you, and then you get [me] out, and then you do whatever the hell you want. This is competition.”
Tell 'em how you really feel, Papi! We can't disagree, either. Not only was Bautista's home run thrilling last year, but the bat flip added a level of excitement to baseball that the sport needs.
Baseball players need to show more personality and passion while they play. It's healthy for the game and not disrespectful to the sport's history at all.
Old timers like Goose need to stop it, already.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)