There’s nothing that gets Major League Baseball pitchers going quite like a good bat flip debate, but it turns out it doesn’t whip all of them up into a rage.
For obvious reasons, most pitchers aren’t fans of batters pimping their home runs, and Jake Arrieta falls into that school of thought. The Chicago Cubs starter not only isn’t a fan of the bat flip, but he apparently is OK with hurting someone because of it, according to what he said on Chicago’s ESPN 1000 on Tuesday.
Arrieta’s reaction is typical of many pitchers, but plenty of people take issue with comments like that. For starters, many will point out that if pitchers don’t want batters to celebrate their home runs, then they shouldn’t give up the home run in the first place. But others simply want baseball to be a sport where the players can have fun and let their personalities show, something baseball traditionalists often are against, for some reason.
And that’s where Noah Syndergaard comes in.
The New York Mets starter was asked his opinion of bat flips Tuesday in the context of Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista’s 2015 American League Division Series bat flip, and Syndergaard was in the class that believes baseball players should be able to show more emotion.
“And in terms of (Bryce) Harper saying he wants to make baseball more fun again, in terms of more emotion, the (Jose) Bautista moment, I’m pretty sure the guy — when that happened — had probably blacked out at the moment,” Syndergaard told the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff. “Just sheer enjoyment and excitement and just being in the moment. The bat flip, I have no problem with it. I can’t imagine how much emotion is going through him that he probably might not have even realized what he was doing. My big thing is having respect for the game.”
And Syndergaard doesn’t think that bat flip disrespected anyone.
“I wouldn’t say he was disrespecting the game at all,” Syndergaard said. “I see it as he was having fun out there. He was trying as hard as he possibly can to do what he wants for the team. I don’t see that as disrespect at all. I see that as pure emotion.”
Thumbnail photo via Chris Pedota/The Record via USA TODAY NETWORK