"Jose needs to calm that down, just kind of respect the game a little more, He’s a huge role model for the younger generation that’s coming up playing this game, and I mean he’s doing stuff that kids do in Wiffle ball games and backyard baseball. It shouldn’t be done."
That is a quote from Sam Dyson, the pitcher who gave up Jose Bautista's game winning home run in the bottom of the seventh tonight. He (and some teammates including losing pitcher Cole Hamels) took issue with the fact that Bautista celebrated his homer with a long stare down and one of the best bat flips I've ever seen. Dyson probably thinks that he is defending the sanctity of baseball, as Brian McCann does. Players like this think that they are the heroes baseball needs but, in reality, they're the one thing holding it back.
For baseball to keep moving forward, it needs Jose Bautista and Yasiel Puig and the bat flips and excitement they bring to the game; it needs players like that, who show the emotions that are associated with being a baseball player; emotions that anyone who has ever played the game at any level can relate to. Jose Bautista knows something that Sam Dyson seems to have forgotten; baseball is a game, not jury duty, and you're supposed to have fun playing it. The next generation doesn't want to watch Sam Dyson pick fights with Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki, they want to watch Jose Bautista flip that bat of his so damn high it hits the roof of the Rodgers Centre. It's cocky, it's brash, and it's exactly the response you should have to hitting a second deck shot to give your team a three run lead in an elimination game in the ALDS.
In five years, no one will remember Sam Dyson's name, but everyone will remember Jose Bautista and that home run he hit in the bottom of the seventh off some Rangers reliever to send the Blue Jays to the ALCS. If you want to be remembered for the way you played the game, don't follow Sam Dyson. Turn your eyes to Jose Bautista and make them remember you.