On Wednesday night, Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flipped his bat at home plate before rounding the bases after hitting a home run.
Flipped his bat. Tossed it into the air so that it rotated as it fell to the ground.
On Thursday night, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran intentionally hit Bautista in the left thigh in the top of the first inning.
The Braves weren't pleased by Bautista's bat flip in Wednesday night's game. Bat flipping in Major League Baseball is considered showboating. Making the pitcher look bad. Over-celebratory.
Please note: Had the pitcher struck out Bautista, he could've fist pumped several times while standing on the mound with no repercussions. He could've leapt into the air. Shouted a barbaric yawp.
But flipping a bat?
No. Too much. In response to a bat flip, the perpetrating player must stand still in a box drawn in chalk while a member of the opposing team throws a 90 MPH baseball at him like a damn coward.
I love baseball, but I hate the sensitivity of baseball players. Their endless list of unwritten rules. And I especially hate the cowardly, pathetic, shameful retaliation that happens when pitchers throw baseballs at batters because the batter did something inappropriate earlier in the game.
If you want to retaliate with violence (which is what throwing a baseball at another human being is), do so face to face. Man to man.
Even better, keep your tender emotions in check when the big, mean man flips his baseball bat into the air after hitting a home run. Muscle through the emotional assault on your fragile psyche and strike the guy out next time.
Someone please inform baseball players that winning is the best revenge. That throwing baseballs at players who have no chance of getting out of the way is childish, pathetic, and one of the greatest acts of cowardice perpetrated on network television on a regular basis.