By now you’ve either read my blog post on the topic or seen the gifs or videos of Jose Bautista’s epic home run from Wednesday night’s ALDS Game. And his bat flip.
And of course you’ve heard and or read the many opinions of those who know better that Bautista disrespected the pitcher, the Texas Rangers and the game of baseball as a result of his emotional response.
Esquire had a nice piece on the bat flip and it’s place in sports history.
From a cultural standpoint those who had a problem with what Bautista did lack cultural understanding and awareness.
These same people had a problem with his temper over the years. They had a problem with how Jose Reyes played the game and celebrated the game with joy. They don’t like the way Johnny Cueto sometimes does a jig before he pitches. And I’m sure there’s so much more they dislike.
But there are also things they like that I have no patience for. They like hitting batters to send a message. They like it when a veteran assults a younger player to teach them a lesson. They like batters who never celebrate a home run. Lest they anger the baseball gods.
These people can also be found in other sports. Here in Canada you can find them in hockey. And everywhere else.
You know who I’m talking about. They are not necessarily wrong. Nor are they right.
It’s like Harold Reynolds saying that Canadians can’t catch. He’s not right. And he’s not wrong. He’s ignorant. Of course we can catch.
And Jose Bautista is not disrespecting anyone or anything. This is how he displays his passion and love for the game. The same game he’s been playing since he was a kid playing baseball in the Dominican Republic. The same game Cole Hamels had been playing in the States.
And it’s the same game. However people play this game all over the world. I’ve had the opportunity to watch baseball in Taiwan. And to watch an international game played between Canada and the Dominican Republic. And of course Blue Jays baseball.
To expect an homogeneous baseball culture in 2015 is not just ridiculous. But short sighted and ignorant.
Let’s enjoy the game and how people doing all over the world play it. On the biggest baseball stage in the world. Major League Baseball.