Do you remember Jose Bautista’s epic bat flip in Game 5 of the Toronto Blue Jays’ American League Division Series last season? Well, the Texas Rangers certainly do, and it likely played a factor in his brawl with Rougned Odor and the ensuing mayhem Sunday.
Game 5 of the Rangers-Blue, Jays 2015 ALDS matchup had plenty of controversy, but the top moment came in the bottom of the seventh inning when Bautista flipped his bat following a three-run home run. Not everyone was a fan of the bat flip, including Rangers reliever Sam Dyson, so there always was the chance of future fireworks between the two squads.
Now fast forward to Sunday, which rivaled that memorable Game 5 in craziness. Bautista, who hit a big double in the sixth inning, was drilled with a pitch by Rangers reliever and former No. 1 draft pick Matt Bush. Bush made his MLB debut Friday, so he wasn’t there when the bad blood started in October, but it looked like he intentionally drilled Bautista.
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Then what looked like a double play to end the inning was a whole lot more upon further review. Bautista tried to take out Rougned Odor with an illegal slide at second base, and Odor responded by punching him in the face.
That sequence led to a bench-clearing brawl, and multiple players and coaches were ejected, including Bautista and Odor.
That wasn’t the last time the benches cleared, though, as Toronto reliever Jesse Chavez exacted some revenge by hitting Prince Fielder in the bottom of the eighth.
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And if you need any more proof that these two teams really don’t like each other, just look at what Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after his team’s 7-6 loss.
H/t to CBS Sports
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista