Pat Caputo: Bat Flips Are Celebration, Not Disrespect

And they are best part of the only game in town.

Pat Caputo
May 05, 2020 - 4:08 pm

Must admit, I never thought I’d greatly anticipate highlights of Warwick Saupold and Dixon Machado.

But the former Tigers are in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) - the only game in town. Don’t care if it’s on at 1 in the morning. I watched opening day, at least until nodding off. Saupold even threw a two-hit shutout, making a spectacular play in the process. 

Hey, it’s not MLB, but it is a relatively high level of baseball and live. There are several MLB-caliber players in the league.

While it’s refreshing to not know the result of a sporting event during the pandemic, it’s also surreal and dystopian with empty stadiums and the masks. Elbow bumps instead of fist bumps...Now that’s different.

There was a pleasant surprise: Bat flips.

I’ve grown tired of many of baseball’s unwritten rules. NFL players celebrate touchdowns and sacks. It’s accepted when an NBA players does “muscle arms” after a dunk or flashes three fingers after draining a shot beyond the arc. Who doesn’t appreciate an NHL player pumping their arm after scoring a goal?

The bat flip after a home run, obviously if done with a measure of safety, does the same thing. In South Korea, it’s encouraged. It becomes a signature move for a hitter, a baseball version of the Lambeau leap, if you.

I think it is fantastic. 

Sports are to be celebrated. We know that more than ever during the pandemic. The bat flip is a celebration, not an insult to a conquered opponent.

It’s something to embrace.

Glad they do in South Korea.

Wish MLB would more, too, when it returns.