As once (fictionally) remarked by Ron Burgundy, “well that escalated quickly.” Only last Tuesday did I first detail the early contenders for the 2014 Bat-Flip Belt, a post that was not only well-received (thanks!), but seems to have provoked a veritable outbreak of hot-dogging*; since Jayson Werth was awarded the early possession for his “Bat-Flip of Maximum Conquest Maximus”, several perennial heavyweights have flexed their own muscle and thrown their flip into the ring. Let’s have a look at some of their awesome efforts.
Almost as if in response to my tease last week that he had yet to build on the promise of his tremendous rookie bat-flip campaign (though more likely in order to justify Jonah Keri’s ranking of him the fifth-best flipper he’d ever seen), Wil Myers announced his candidacy for the 2014 belt with a supreme exhibition against the Yankees.
A steady stare, but not his finest bat work. We’ll let young Wil off the hook though, considering how it was his first jack of his sophomore season. That initial piece of preening was in fact, more just a shaking off of the rust in preparation for his later effort.
That is the bat-flip of pitchers’ nightmares; less prolonged staring at the plate this time, more of a callous whip on swinging flip, and a solid continued admiration going down the first base line. Sure, he loses points for the fact that his two jacks came against Ivan Nova – who is now out with a partially torn UCL, and likely headed for Tommy John surgery – but boy, that peacocking… regardless of the level of difficulty involved, the prolonged gaze of ‘yeah, I just did THAT. Hide your kids’ after every crush, will pretty much ensure Myers a strong seeding in the end of year bout.
Of course, Alfonso Soriano wasn’t going to allow Myers the series bat-flip spotlight all to himself; what we have below is a veteran drop-and-observe move. Myers would probably be at second by the time Soriano makes it out of the opposing batter’s box.
That Sori took it to David Price too – in my estimation at least, a pitcher you probably don’t want to piss off – earns him extra consideration, as does his delightfully artistic gum chew, but I’m going to need to see some more blatant obnoxiousness to be convinced he belongs in the ring with the real heavyweights. Speaking of which…
Now, you’re probably thinking ‘That doesn’t look like much.’ You’re quite correct, that doesn’t. This, on the other hand, shows the exclamatory flip Yasiel Puig applies to his tater off of the woeful Josh Collmenter in all its glory. As put by Marc Normandin on SB Nation, “I’m upset at every camera operator at the park for not properly capturing Puig’s emphatic bat flip on this shot. Puig deserves better than that. We all deserve better than that.”
Puig had himself a pretty strong week in posing actually, throwing in a sustained hold of his swing on a pop out to right field – all whilst refusing to run down the line and marching back to the dugout – in the 12th inning of the Dodgers’ game against San Francisco on Jackie Robinson Day. Puig’s strutting was rather overshadowed however, by one of his chief rivals for the belt – fellow agitator, Carlos Gomez.
I last week alluded to Gomez’s hilarious celebration of successful sacrifice flies- well, now I’ve managed to find some GIF evidence of it. I’m sure you’ll agree, such showboating is so bad it’s good.
This weekend however, Gomez perhaps took his swaggering too far. Facing Pittsburgh’s Gerritt Cole, the Milwaukee center fielder crushed a pitch out – but only in his mind. There was a gloriously contemptuous flip – a left-handed snap with all pizazz added by the wrist action – and 5 or 6 seconds of trotting in which Gomez lorded it over his vanquished foe, before realization set in.
‘It’s not going over the fence. S***. RUNRUNRUNRUNRUN!’
What followed when Gomez (eventually) made it to third base has been written to death already – not that it has become any less watchable. Most notably, Cole wisely stomped off back to the mound to enjoy watching the fracas, Travis Snider waded in, a Milwaukee coach got in a very solid sucker punch, and Gomez was ejected. Discipline has not yet been handed down, but hear this; the longer the suspension, the better for the other CarGo’s final seeding in the B.F.R. He might not have smoked the home run, but Carlos Gomez has declared himself ready to drop the bat and throw down.
* There’s even been grandstanding at the college level, junior shortstop Mitch Skaggs lifting his College of Idaho Coyotes over the Menlo College Oaks by the score of 10-6 with an 11th inning walk-off grand slam – and one incredible bat flip.