Thursday, October 15, 2015

An inning of flippin' passion

Jose Batista and the bat flip to end all bat flips.
An inning that epic deserved a bat flip that epic.

I am 57, and have been obsessed with baseball for the vast majority of those years. I don't think I've seen, or could imagine -- much less describe -- the fury, the passion, the emotion of the 53 minutes of the seventh inning of Wednesday's Rangers-Blue Jays game.

It wasn't great baseball. But ain't baseball great?

Well, maybe not right now if you are Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus, who committed two errors in the seventh inning and couldn't bail his first baseman out of another. Andrus carries the reputation of a high-quality shortstop. He wasn't in the seventh inning.

Maybe not, also, if you are Dale Scott, the umpiring crew chief and home plate ump for the fifth and decisive game of the division series. Scott's errant time-out call after Russell Martin's routine return throw to the pitcher bounced off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo turned an odd play bizarre. led to the Jays playing the game under protest and played a role in turning the big Toronto crowd ugly.

But then there was Jose Batista and his glorious moment. A fat fastball from Sam Dyson. Joey Bats living up to his nickname -- and then standing, glare-faced, at the plate as the ball sailed to the second deck in left center before flinging the bat in the direction of the Texas dugout.

Maybe you're rooting for the Blue Jays in this postseason (I am, in large part for the sheer number of former Twins on the roster), Maybe you aren't. But if you watched that bizarre inning and thought Batista was out of line, I feel a bit sorry for you. If the Rangers are sore, I have this response: Catch the darn ball. They gave Toronto five outs in the inning.

That's what should embarrass the Rangers, not Batista's flung implement.

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