Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista isn’t the most popular man in Atlanta these days. His bat flip during Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves was the final straw during a game that threatened to reach a boiling point a number of times.
With the Jays down 8-3, Bautista hit a solo shot off Eric O’Flaherty in the top of the eighth inning. He punctuated that hit with a celebratory bat flip. The Braves didn’t take too kindly to that gesture. After the game, O’Flaherty shot back, saying Bautista shouldn’t be looking for fights after what happened to him last year.
Yep, he invoked the brawl with the Texas Rangers in which Bautista took a right hook to the jaw courtesy of Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor. Some Braves fans must have heard O’Flaherty’s comment, because they showed up before Thursday’s game with a creative photoshop of that now infamous picture.
— Kelsey Wingert (@KelsWingert) May 18, 2017
The fans took the picture of Odor punching Bautista in the face, and photoshopped Braves second baseman Jace Peterson’s head on Odor’s body. We don’t condone violence here at The Stew, but we have to applaud that someone took the time and effort to alter the photo and then have it blown up and printed out in time for the game.
While these fans were able to have some fun with the moment, the Braves weren’t willing to laugh off the bat flip. During his first at-bat, Bautista was plunked with a 95 mph fastball from Julio Teheran. There was clear intent, as Teheran actually missed Bautista with his first pitch. Both benches were warned. Teheran was allowed to remain in the game.
That proved to be a good thing for Toronto. The Blue Jays took advantage of the hit by pitch with a single and two consecutive doubles. They put three runs on the board during the inning, the first of which was scored by Bautista. Seems like karma intervened after the Braves held a grudge and intentionally put a man on base.
The baseball gods must have felt like one inning wasn’t enough, because Teheran’s struggles continued. The Blue Jays knocked him around, scoring nine runs on eight hits over just three innings. He allowed three home runs, including an opposite field blast to opposing pitcher Marcus Stroman. Yeah, it was that kind of day. The Blue Jays won the game easily, blanking the Braves 9-0.
What did we learn here? Using words and creative photoshops to get back at your opponent is fine. Resorting to physical violence is dumb, dangerous and could wind up having a big impact on the result of the game.
What’s more important, taking out your aggression on an opponent or actually winning the game?
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –