In case you haven’t noticed, bat flipping has become quite popular in Major League Baseball and is now trickling down to the minor leagues, colleges and even little leagues. While some ego-maniacs like the thought of bat flipping, and while I may be deemed as being “old school”, in my opinion, bat flipping is bad for baseball. There’s just no need for it. And when you do flip your bat, you deserve to be beamed when you come up to bat next time (the head, the body, or wherever the pitcher so chooses).
Please understand, baseball is all about timing and strategy. It’s like a chess match on dirt. For every move, there is a counter-move. In baseball, while the batter tries to calculate the timing of the pitch and to control the plate, the pitcher is trying to upset the batter’s timing and is also trying to control the plate. When a pitcher strikes a player out, do you ever see anything more than a fist pump or a pitcher yelling out loud happily? No. But the same can’t be said for batters whom flip their bat. To flip your bat is a slap in the face to the pitcher and the pitcher’s entire team. It’s calling out a player in front of everyone and saying, “I got you!” Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly OK to celebrate what you have earned but if you flip your bat, be ready for the consequences. And while Buster Olney recently wrote an article that explains why beaning a player should not be a part of the game, I strongly and wholeheartedly disagree. It is a part of the game. It’s swift justice that players control. It keeps people in line; it keeps people humble.
The other bad thing about bat flipping in the Major Leagues is that kids are now catching on and doing it! This makes for bad baseball. Baseball isn’t a game to show up another person; baseball is a game of earned rewards, hard work and team work. Baseball is a game that’s supposed to be enjoyed but enjoyed with respect. This doesn’t teach kids well.
So, if you’re going to bat flip, expect to be beaned; it’s the governing of baseball and is what baseball is meant to be. Because just like life, bat flipping has consequences!