I’m going to make this short and sweet. Are you kidding me? Dude, you were a CLOSER, arguably one of the most over-rated positions in the sports world. The starting pitchers of the early 20th century are rolling over in their graves with laughter–in their day a reliever was a scrub who couldn’t start and barely got into the game. They also would have called you a “punk” because of your facial hair. You know who invented your position? Statisticians–or “nerds” as you so eloquently called them.
You are in the Hall of Fame for 3 reasons:
A) you were a Yankee (ugh…probably the main reason as you only have to be really good instead of great if you spent most of your career in pinstripes.)
B) You had a handlebar mustache and a dumb nickname.
C) The closer position and statistics hadn’t been established yet. There are guys with almost double the saves that you compliled in a career who aren’t in the HOF and will never get in. You were simply in the right place at the right time.
Jose Batista’s batflip: This was one of the most iconic homeruns in ML history in a ALDS game 5. It put the BlueJays ahead and had (possibly) put an end to a very emotionally charged game that would put Toronto in the ALCS. Topps decided that it was so important that they immortalized it on a baseball card. It was an exciting moment. Jose Bautista is one of the most exciting sluggers in the game. Excitment brings in fans. Fans bring in money. Money is the bottom line. Bautista is in the entertainment industry, not the “raise your kids for you” or “act like you want me to act” industry. I doubt many fans were going to games or sitting in front of the tube clamoring for you to hold a 3 run lead in the 9th in order to pad your bogus statistics while sitting on your ass the whole game. Now that’s entertainment!
This blog is tired of arguing the bat flip and its racist connotations. Latin players do it all the time and it isn’t a big deal; it’s just as ingrained in their culture as live bands and vuvazelas. Latin players are more pervasive in baseball than ever before so they are going to bring their culture with them. Japan, a traditionally rigid country, embraces the bat flip. Baseball culture changes with the world and the world has always changed, physically and theoretically. Perhaps there is a racial component to some of your criticism, perhaps not, but I do know one thing: you would have been one of the players that refused to play with Jackie Robinson because that would mean embracing change.
To put it simply….you are a punk.