This Dodgers/Mets series continues to tug at my heart as LA has now taken three of four from New York. Wheeler is on the DL, and Tyler Pill is back to make Mets fans sick with anxiety. I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t been using LA’s trouncing of New York as another sign that my time in this city is coming to an end. But enough of about my moving feelings. Let’s talk about bat flips and homer celebrations.
Wilmer Flores had some words with Yasiel Puig last night as he rounded first. The Mets were down 2-1 and being pummeled by the Dodgers bats all series long, and he felt Puig took just a little too long at the plate admiring his monster shot.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this plenty of times before, but I have no problem with these home run celebrations. I love bat flips and I love when players watch their destroyed baseball fly out of the park. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t celebrate a feat like that. Even this season where it seems like balls are leaving the park at an alarming rate, home runs are still a tough thing to do. And when you’re the guy that hits the home run that breaks the game open, you should be excited, you should be proud of yourself for putting your team on top. And of course, if you’re not a fan of that particular team, or a player who just gave up that home run, it’s going to sting a little. It’s definitely not as much fun to watch, but I say don’t take that away from them.
As a fan, tough it out, and honestly as the opposing team, do better. Cespedes and Reyes had a chat with Puig between innings, probably saying something along the lines of “Hey we’re already down in this series, and down in this game, maybe cool it with throwing it in our face.” That’s where I differ on this point of view. Unless there was an issue, or an argument earlier in the game, I don’t look at bat flips or “home run watching” (I’ll think of a better name for that if there isn’t one already.) as something that the batter is throwing in the other teams face. I look at it as a personal celebration. The other team is of course going to feel like it’s being done to be thrown in their face, but if you’re already beating a team the entire series, there would be no reason for the batter to celebrate as a personal attack. If you’re having a bad night, then you’re having a bad night. There’s nothing you can do sometimes unless you get an offensive push late in the game or a momentum shift, but sometimes it’s just beyond control.
Maybe I’m just used to tough love, but players, and announcers, and who ever else want to make a case over ending the the bat flip, need to get over it. July 1st is Asdrubal Cabrera bobble head day at Citi Field, and he’s posed in his famous walk off bat flip from last season against the Phillies:
I loved that moment. The joy on his face, the joy on the fans faces, the joy on my overtired face as I stayed up in my dark living room trying not to wake up my roommates as I screamed. Sure you could argue that Cabrera’s bat flip was more appropriate in the moment, but I bet most Phillies fans don’t see it that way.
You can’t have it both ways. Banning the bat flip and other celebrations would be pointless. It’s emotional, it’s in the moment, and no one is going to care if they impose a fine. You’re playing a kids game professionally, why not show a little joy and fun every now and then.