Roughned Odor is only 22 years old. And he’s now established himself as a baseball bad-ass.
Jose Bautista has been mocking pitchers for the past few seasons with a theatrical bat flip after he hits home runs. How this is much different than Reggie Jackson’s stare-and-jog of the 70’s and 80’s, I don’t know. Hey, Mr. October milked it a bit, but Bautista’s bringing a herd of cows.
Last year, J.B. hit a series-winning homer off the Texas Rangers to put the Blue Jays in the AL Championship Series (not even to get into the World Series). He flipped his bat about 100 feet in the air. I mean, it brought down rain, that flip.
So this Sunday, Matt Bush nailed him with a fastball in the rib cage. Old-school baseball. Don’t disrespect my team.
Bautista, now on first, glared menacingly, then slid late on a ground ball into Maracaibo’s own Roughned Odor, who has his own ideas about how the game should be played. A talented young player, to be sure, but with a dangerous temper (in this video he clocks two different players).
Joey Bats’ menacing was over for the day. He mouthed off to Odor after dusting himself off from the slide. After a two-handed Maracucho shove, Bautista walked into the best right-hand punch you’ll see in a baseball game. Not knocked down, but clearly dazed.
Under baseball’s current rules, both players will get suspended. Maybe Joey Bats will learn a lesson in sportsmanship, or humility, or take a few boxing lessons. (I’m guessing not.) Maybe young Roughned will calm down a bit (I’m guessing not.)
I don’t care to see Bautista or Odor apologize for their behavior via a manufactured press release from MLB or via their Twitter accounts. One player went over the line, and paid for his poor sportsmanship.
Somewhere, Bob Gibson is smiling.