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?

*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.

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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:

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

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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:

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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.

Look at that bat fly.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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.

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

Credit: MLB / Vine

And Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper.

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

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.

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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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