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Rape, Murder, Kidnapping: The Reality of Teenage Girls in El Salvador

Credit: Encarni Pindado / NPR

It’s not a normal life. At least, it shouldn’t be. In El Salvador, teenage girls can’t walk to school or walk to the store alone or hang out with their friends because at any given moment they can be killed or disappeared.

In #15Girls, a new series by NPR, the terror-riddled lives of girls living in a gang-infested country are explored. During the first day of reporting, NPR saw the corpse of Marcela, a 15-year-old girl shot twice in the head in broad daylight on a street corner. The reason? She may have said no to being the girlfriend of a gang member.

Another girl, whose name could not be revealed in order to protect her, has been used as a bartering tool by her imprisoned gang member father. The ultimatum he gave the ex-wife, “if she doesn’t give him $50,000 when he gets out, he’ll have the girl raped and killed.”

It has become so incredibly violent that El Salvador has become “a country of girls with two main choices: Hide from gangs or give in to them” because “there is so much violence […] someone dies there, on average, every hour.”

Read or listen to Marcela, Aby and Mimi’s stories here.

READ: This Prison is So Dangerous, Even the Guards Won’t Go In

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Latino Peloteros Couldn’t Resist Doing Bat Flips and Now Baseball Fans Are Loving It

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Latino Peloteros Couldn’t Resist Doing Bat Flips and Now Baseball Fans Are Loving It

Did you see Jose Bautista’s EPIC bat flip versus the Texas Rangers in the ALDS?

https://vine.co/v/eEdvmvFOj5A

*MIC DROP* That’s how the Toronto Blue Jays star celebrated after smashing a seventh-inning, 3-run home run that gave the Blue Jays the lead and eventually, a series-winning victory.

Bautista’s bat flip became the talk of Twitter.

Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson, who gave up the homer to Bautista, was a little less excited about it.

rangers-pitcher

During the game, he had some words for Bautista’s teammate, Edwin Encarnacion. After the game, Dyson revealed what he said: “I told him Jose needs to calm that down. Just kind of respect the game a little more.” Dyson later added, “He’s a huge role model for the younger generation that’s coming up and playing this game. He’s doing stuff that kids do in whiffle ball games and backyard baseball. It shouldn’t be done.”

Whiffle ball games? OK, maybe Dyson has a point:

https://vine.co/v/eDxn77hVKIj

Still though, what’s the big deal about a bat flip? Wasn’t Bautista just celebrating?

joey-bats-2
Credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty

A lot of baseball’s unwritten rules are driven by this tenet: you’re not supposed to “show up” or disrespect your opponent. And the bat flip, which is basically a flashy way of throwing your bat after getting a big hit, is usually considered a no-no. After Bautista’s bat flip controversy, ESPN’s Dan Le Batard (who has Cuban roots) said it’s just a matter of two cultures clashing: “We play the game differently. Cultures you know, do wedding, funerals, gatherings differently. You should go to a Latin party one time. You’ll see how much louder it is than your average party.”

So what usually happens when you flip your bat? RETALIATION. And it looks something like this:

cards-puig-hbp

Yep, if the opposing team thinks you’re “showing them up,” they’re gonna let you know it. Don’t be surprised if Bautista gets drilled by a Texas Rangers pitcher when they meet again next season.

READ: This is Why Mets Pitcher Alex Torres Wears a Funny-Looking Cap

When Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig began playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the bat flip became his signature move.

https://vine.co/v/ejtlmagFVaV

Look at that bat fly.

puig-batflip

Puig did it so often that he even flipped his bat on routine fly balls.

https://vine.co/v/M6FIdl73zQ5

That’s an out, Yasiel, no need to celebrate.

Puig’s bat flips didn’t earn him many fans around the league.

bumgarner-puig

That’s Puig exchanging words with San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner, who wasn’t impressed with Puig’s moves after Puig hit a home run.

Puig says that just how he learned to play the game in his native Cuba.

puig-bat-flip-2

He’s got a point. In Cuba and other parts of Latin America, the bat flip is a normal part of the game.

https://vine.co/v/OhgKIUxdu35

Just look at that around-the-back bat flip. A masterpiece.

It’s not just Latinos, though. Bat flips are also super common in Korea.

korea-flip

So while Puig took most of the heat, other players started doing it, too. Here’s his teammate, Zack Greinke:

https://vine.co/v/eZdMwP0MhIl

Credit: MLB / Vine

And Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper.

https://vine.co/v/emvmzlKdTrT

So in just a few years, bat flips went from being taboo to being celebrated. Like this recent bat flip by Yoenis Cespedes:

https://vine.co/v/eEA9U6w7ljA

Where’d he learn it? Probably in his native Cuba.

So what does Jose Bautista have to say about all this? He says he was just caught up in the moment.

bats-flip-3
Credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty

“I didn’t plan anything that I did. So I still don’t even know how I did it. I just enjoyed the moment, ran around the bases, got to the dugout, and after all the guys stopped punching me and hitting me is when I started realizing what had happened,” said Bautista in a post-game interview.

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