Let’s run through the timeline that lead to Jose Bautista getting punched int he face yesterday in Arlington, Texas.
The Blue Jays and Rangers were matched up in 2015 MLB postseason and in the 7th inning of game 5 of their best of 5 series it all began not with Jose’s batflip but with the Rangers 3 errors..
Then came the flip..
Had the Rangers played for D the inning would have been over and they still would have been up 3-2.. Even with the errors had Rougned Odor been playing in the correct position at second Josh Donaldson would have been out and Bautista wouldn’t have had a chance to hit that epic homerun and thus no occasion to flip his bat.. You want a bad guy in all this Texas? Look at you infielders hands.
But alas the Rangers choked and the batflip happened..
Which lead to endless debate about Jose’s respect for the game.. Rangers closer (the man who gave up the home run) Sam Dyson said Jose needed to ‘respect the game more’ – former players like Mike Schmidt and Goose Gossage chimed in saying they were disgusted by his conduct. Leading Bautista to write this essay for the Players Tribune “Are You Flipping Kidding Me?”
Fast forward to the 2016 season –
The Jays host the Rangers in a 3 game series in early May.. the media and fans speculate retaliation may becoming because that’s how baseball is played. If a team feels like you did something dirty or were disrespectful then you’re going to get plunked with a fastball. It’s been that way for 100 years it’ll be that way for the next 100 years. It’s baseball. Nothing happened.
2 weeks later the series shifts to Texas. Games 1 and 2 are uneventful. Game 3 7th inning, possibly the last at bat Jose will ever take against Texas in a Blue Jays uniform – 98 MPH fastball up and in to his ribs. Jose head to first after some words.. then this..
Is Jose’s slide dirty? Yes.
Does Odor try to hit Jose in the face with the ball? Yes.
Is Odor justified in punching Jose square in the jaw? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I mean Angels 2nd Baseman Johnny Giavotella didn’t feel the need to pop up and punch Odor after this slide last year..
I understand the slide rules are different this year but it’s pretty tough to have sympathy for a guy that did the exact same thing last year with far more intent to injure.
I watched sports pundits all over TV last night justifying Odor punching Jose.. ‘If Jose is going to try to take away a mans livelihood then he should be able to take matters into his own hands’ – That’s not what Jose did.. Joey Bats even said it post game.. if he wanted to hurt Odor he could have hurt Odor.. he slide late and dirty to scare him. That’s the response to getting hit, and getting hit was response to the batflip.. it’s a cycle.. same cycle that’s been in baseball for 100 years. Getting up and punching someone in the face and it’s ok? These are millionaire prima doanas playing a children’s game. Suck it up. All we hear is the call for hockey to do away with fighting because it’s barbaric.. this happens and everyone has a justification for it. THIS is why hockey has fighting.. so you can pop up and punch another dude. Baseball doesn’t feature fighting so again.. suck it up.