It seems like we do this a few times every Major League Baseball season, someone breaks the "unwritten rules" of the game and more often than not it revolves around a hitter flipping or throwing their bat after hitting a home run, hurting the feelings of the opposing pitcher.
Usually, I'm completely on the side of the batter, when it's a big moment and you just hit a game changing home run (Jose Bautista in the Playoffs) go crazy, flip your bat , slam it on the ground, stare at it as long as you want for all I care, you earned it. But what happened yesterday in Chicago and the follow-up on social media, was way overboard.
Here's the situation: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox, bottom of the fourth inning, two outs, runner on second, career .260 hitter Tim Anderson at the plate. Anderson hits a home run into the Left Field Bleachers, and slams his bat down, and stares toward his own dugout, seemingly saying something at Royals Catcher Martin Maldonado. Once Anderson crosses the plate, Maldonado says something back, and next time Anderson comes to the plate, he's beaned by Royals Pitcher Brad Keller in the hip, Anderson starts walking towards the mound Maldonado gets in-between, the benches clear and you know where this is going.
The benches clearing is besides the point, bat-flipping should be reserved for big moments, like walk-offs, late inning go ahead/game tying home runs, and also by guys who are stars and household names like Jose Bautista or Bryce Harper. Where they have no place however is in the fourth inning of a Wednesday afternoon game in April between two teams that will be in the basement of the American League by the All Star Break. On top of that, when it's a player that has only reached the 20 home run mark once in his career, I have no sympathy on him getting drilled his next time up.
Other MLB Players feel the same way:
I agree with Grichuk, and I'd tell Anderson to act like he's been there before, but he really hasn't. What do you think?
-Dan "Waffles" Watkins